Three years down the road have been as much as necessary for two parties to ultimately solve their land wrangle in Bubogo Parish, Kabwoya Sub-county in Kikuube District.
Boiling since 2017, more than 3, 000 residents have been up in a land dispute with Kabango Farmers Limited – an association of brokers, with the former accusing the latter of grabbing their land measuring 390 hectares.
It began when Kabango Farmers Limited wanted to put out of place residents occupying three villages claiming that they had a title for 590 hectares of land in the area. This was disputed by the locals coercing them to seek legal redress in courts of law.
However, it did not work out well for them as anticipated since the suit took all that long up in the air until the two parties agreed to opt for legal arbitration.
Speaking during a mediation meeting at Kyarulyaka village, the area chairman, Mr Francis Ndyanabo, took centre stage accusing some local leaders of conspiring with Kabango Farmers to sell off their ancestral land.
“We are aware of some local leaders here who schemed with Kabango Farmers Limited to grab our ancestral land at a price for their selfishness. These leaders are not for the people of Kabwoya but aim to gain unscrupulously,” he averred.
During the adjudication championed by Justice Centres Uganda (JCU) Hoima, a consensus was reached on November 18, 2020, with the two warring parties appending signatures on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
In the MoU, Kabango Farmers Limited led by Mr Ashton Muhwezi, conceded that they “legally acquired and titled only 200 hectares”, agreeing to relinquish the other 390 hectares that were as well reflected in a title that included Kyarulyaka, Ikoba 1 and Kituuru villages in Bubogo parish, Kabwoya sub-county.
According to the MoU the land is FRV 639, folio 13, plot 24, Buhaguzi Block 12, measuring approximately 999 hectares,.
The two parties are now waiting for a boundary reopening exercise to be scheduled at a later date.
Mr Muhwezi is also involved in a standing land battle with Bajenja and others at Runga fishing village in Kigorobya sub-county, Hoima district, with the case still in court.
Addressing the residents, the area parliamentary representative, Mr Daniel Mpamizo Muhairwe, advised his constituents to process titles for their land listing them such right procedures they have to go through as “area and district land committees among others to avoid fake land titles and future wrangles.”
The law maker disclosed that there are many fake land titles that need to be cancelled in Kikuube district citing Kijayo as among other villages with such illegalities.
Ms Joan Agumenaitwe, a High Court advocate and legal officer with JCU who mediated the case advised “people to opt for legal arbitration since it is time saving and cost effective.”
She told them that the boundary reopening exercise will not involve residents who sold their land to Kabango Farmers.
Mr Daniel Tumusiime, a senior Surveyor from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Masindi Zone, also advised people to process land titles to “safeguard their land since several magnates are eying Bunyoro land due to the oil and gas resource in the region”.