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LAND PROBE: Commission told how Tycoon Ntaganda sold a government owned forest at 9 billion shillings
Justice Bamugemereire vowed to ensure that officials of the forestry authority involved in the illegal sale of government forests are brought to book.

On Friday last week, the commission of Inquiry into land matters witnessed drama when military officers stormed Kajjansi forest reserve off the Kampala-Entebbe Highway allegedly to protect the interests of a private businessman.

 

The forest land owned by the government was allegedly sold to one Eria Mubiru by a prominent businessman Ephraim Ntaganda.

Board chairman of National Forestry Authority Gershom Onyango appeared before the commission chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire to explain his role in the giveaway of the Kajjansi forest land.The commission learnt that businessman Ntaganda sold the forest land to Eria Mubiru at 2.5 million USD, approximately nine billion shillings.

Justice Bamugemereire vowed to ensure that officials of the forestry authority involved in the illegal sale of government forests are brought to book.Onyango denied receiving a bribe in the Kajjansi land transactions with Ephrahim Ntaganda.Other members of the commission asked Onyango to resign as NFA board chairman before he is forcefully removed for incompetence and apparently abetting fraud.

 

The commission has summoned Ntaganda to explain himself over the matter.

This could be the second time he faces the commission following his earlier appearance over his interest in forest reserves in other parts of Wakiso district. 

 

Meanwhile, the Local Council chairman of Kigaya - Golomolo village in Buikwe district James Banda is languishing in Lugazi Prison allegedly on the orders of state minister for water Ronald Kibuule who is accused of fraudulently acquiring 85 acres of land in the village.

 

A production warrant was issued for Banda to appear before the commission following information that he was incarcerated on orders of Kibuule and the officer in charge of OC of Buikwe police station Guston Twinamatsiko.

Banda told the commission that even after fulfilling all the conditions of bail, including paying two hundred thousand shillings, he remains in prison.

 

The commission has promised to speak to the Director of Public Prosecutions over the matter.