Ex-Minister Bitangaro,City Lawyer Onyango Remanded To Luzira Over 3Bn Land Fraud

Member of Parliament For Bufumbira South county Sam Bitangaro alongside his Wife Stella Kakuba, city lawyer Francis Onyango and William Tumwine a Director in Ministry of Gender,l and social development have been remanded to Luzira prisons on charges of obtaining money by false pretense and conspiracy to commit fraud.

The four accused persons appeared before Grade two Magistrate John Okipi and were read the charges which stem from obtaining 3billion shillings from Kiboga Twegatte Sacco with the aim of providing evicted residents land. However, the whole transaction has been found to be a total mess.

The accused persons were recently arrested by State House Anti Corruption Unit after several complaints from the Sacco members.

The matter later was forwarded to lands commission of inquiry led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire which concluded its finds that the four should face courts of law.

The money which was misappropriated  was provided by the government through the National Forest Authority on the directive of President Yoweri Museveni.

One of the suspects on handcuffs

The land dispute between city tycoon Abid Alam and some residents of Kassanda district flared up again recently.

The residents of Bukompe village, Nalutuntu sub-county in Kassanda are protesting Abid Alam’s move to construct access roads across the disputed land.

The affected people were originally evicted from Luwunga forest reserve in Kiboga district. With the intervention of the Government, they allegedly acquired land in Bukompe village. But the same land is allegedly claimed by Abid Alam.

During the past few days, workers who are said to have been hired by Abid Alam went with graders to open up access roads on the land measuring about three square miles. The roads are being opened without due regard to the plantations owned by the tenants, some of whom have lost crops in the process.

In August 2019, the State House Anti-Corruption Unit said they were probing the purchase of the land at a cost of sh1.3b for the people who were evicted from Kiboga.

The land was purchased by Kiboga Twegatte Co-operative Society. But it was later discovered that the same land is claimed by Abid Alam.

Over 30,000 people, who were evicted from the Luwunga Central Forest Reserve in Kiboga, settled on the land belonging to Abid Alam at Bukombe in Kassanda, which sparked off a conflict in the area.

The money for the purchase of the land was given to Kiboga Twegatte Co-operative Society Limited by President Yoweri Museveni and Oxfam International in 2013.

In August, Lt Col Edith Nakalema, the head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, told the people during a meeting that Abid Alam had offered a part of his land to resettle some of the families evicted from Luwunga Central Forest Reserve that had not been resettled.

The land dispute between Abid Alam and tenants was one of the cases investigated by the Commission of Inquiry into Land Management, headed by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire

Abid Alam was accused of violently evicting people from land measuring about 12 square miles in Mubende. The commission ordered Abid Alam to halt the evictions.

Abid Alam, who is also the proprietor of Mityana Farm Enterprises, told the commission that he paid sh200m for the entire chunk of land. He said he bought the land from Abasi Kajoba Mawanda, a one Kayima, Sam Bitangaro, Andrew Rugasira, a one Dr. Mbonye and the former Resident District Commissioner of Mubende.

Abid Alam said during the time of purchase of the land, they found a few people living on it but did not carry out due diligence to find out if they had any claim on the land.

They have appeared before Grade II magistrate John Okiipi who remanded them until January 6 when they will appear before a chief magistrates’ court.

But while leaving court,SamBitangaro revealed that all the charges were politically motivated by his enemies and opponents.

Adding reporting by Vision

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