How Formasa Co. Limited Forged Certificates of Titles to Grab Square Miles of Land in Mubende
In the previous story touching the lawsuit 172 evictees filed in Mubende district, we told you about the lead petitioners, the defendants.
As promised, witnessradio.org now brings you the particulars of “fraud” orchestrated by Formasa Co. Limited, which is the 2nd defendant in an already ongoing suit.
It is alleged that Formasa Co. Limited “forged certificate of title for land allegedly comprised in Mubende District, Buwekula Sub-County, Block 61 Plot 37.”
Secondly, it is stated in the suit that Formasa “forged certificate of title for land allegedly comprised in Mubende district, Buwekula Sub-County, Block 61 Plot 27.”
With these two forged titles, Formasa Co. Limited claimed to be the true owner of the land covering the following locations of Mubende district: Butolo, Kaswa, and Nakasozi villages in Naluwondwa Parish; Namayindi, Kisiigwa, Bikonyi, Mukiguluka, Busaabala and Kendikyo in Kakenzi Parish, Madudu Sub-County, Buwekula, County; and Kicucuulo village, Kasolo-Kamponye Parish, Butoloogo Sub-County.
The plaintiffs, state that the second defendant therefore, through workers, employees and or agents unleashed all kinds of terror against them which affected them in the following ways;
· The destruction of crops of plaintiffs and other similarly affected persons, violated the plaintiffs’ right to livelihood and adequate standard of life, which is protected under article 22(1), 45 of the constitution
· Causing unlawful arrest and detention of some plaintiffs and other similarly affected persons, violated their right to personal liberty which is protected under article 23(1) of the constitution
· The violence deployed against the plaintiffs and other similarly affected persons; including the savage beating up of individuals and their families; cutting them with machetes, blackmailing them, burning up and or breaking down their houses, threatening them with unspecified consequences, threatening them with forced evictions, planting seedlings in their gardens, and the destruction of their homesteads orchestrated by Formasa Co. Limited violated the right of plaintiffs and others similarly situated, to freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment which is protected under article 24, 44 (1) of the constitution
· The entry into homesteads of the plaintiffs and others similarly situated, by the defendants without prior permission or information violated their right to privacy of person, home and property, which is protected under article 27 of the constitution
· The failure by police to protect the plaintiffs and other affected people from the atrocities perpetrated by the 2nd defendants is a violation of Attorney General, the 5th defendant’s duty under article 20 of the constitution to protect the rights and freedoms of the people
On completion of making a case regarding certificate of title forgeries, the plaintiffs goes ahead to demonstrate the facts constituting their cause of action as follows;
· The plaintiffs are customary and or bonafide occupants of land comprised in the following locations of Mubende district: Butolo, Kaswa, and Nakasozi villages in Naluwondwa parish, Namayindi, Kisiigwa, Bikonyi, Mukiguluka, Busaabala, and Kyendikyo in Kalekenzi parish, Madudu Sub-County, Buwekula County and Kicucuulo village, Kasolo-Kamponye Parish, Butoloogo Sub-County, Buwekula County.
· Many of the plaintiffs have always lived on the suit land, some of them since time immemorial. Others acquired land from previous holders who were lawful or customary or bonafide occupants of the land
· Most of the plaintiffs have registered their land holdings with the Buganda Land Board abd do pay busuulu.
· The plaintiffs lived peaceful on the suit and until 2010 when 4 people previously unknown to them, including one Henry Kalemeera Kimera, Paulo Kazuga, one Richard and another, visited the villages and laid a claim of ownership to the land comprised therein
· It was claimed that by the 4 strangers that Henry Kalemeera Kimera, the 3rd defendant was grandson of Daudi Chwa, former King of Buganda.
· The 4 strangers drove through the disputed land without prior knowledge of the customary and bonafide occupants of the suit land
· On 10th July 2011, unknown surveyors entered the affected parishes in the company of armed police escort without prior knowledge of customary owners and carried out a survey. In the process, they destroyed the crops of the residents inspite of their protestations
· Following this entry into their land, 91 customary and bonafide occupants complained to the LCIII chairman of Madudu Sub-County. In response, the LCIII chairman protested to Mubende district staff surveyor in a letter
· Agents of the Formasa Co. Ltd repeatedly threatened the plaintiffs with forceful eviction. They likened what would befall the plaintiffs to the fate suffered by the neighboring population of Kaweri coffee where people were violently thrown off the land without compensation or that of the neighboring villages of Kendikyo, Busakya, Kabangere, Karukyokaka, Kijuuya and Kiwambya, where FRECA, a tree-planting company forcibly removed people from land without compensation
· These instances of blackmail and pressure caused fear and panic among the occupants of the land. As a result, some accepted to seek off their land to the 2nd defendant at ridiculously low prices determined by it and then they left the area
· Having forced some people off the land, the 2nd defendant began to plant trees on the land of those who had sold to them. But they also planted trees on the land of those who had remained on their land and not sold it to them
· Among others,
Both reporting and editing by Deo Walusimbi
Statement: The Energy Sector Strategy 2024–2028 Must Mark the End of the EBRD’s Support to Fossil Fuels
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is due to publish a new Energy Sector Strategy before the end of 2023. A total of 130 civil society organizations from over 40 countries have released a statement calling on the EBRD to end finance for all fossil fuels, including gas.
From 2018 to 2021, the EBRD invested EUR 2.9 billion in the fossil energy sector, with the majority of this support going to gas. This makes it the third biggest funder of fossil fuels among all multilateral development banks, behind the World Bank Group and the Islamic Development Bank.
The EBRD has already excluded coal and upstream oil and gas fields from its financing. The draft Energy Sector Strategy further excludes oil transportation and oil-fired electricity generation. However, the draft strategy would continue to allow some investment in new fossil gas pipelines and other transportation infrastructure, as well as gas power generation and heating.
In the statement, the civil society organizations point out that any new support to gas risks locking in outdated energy infrastructure in places that need investments in clean energy the most. At the same time, they highlight, ending support to fossil gas is necessary, not only for climate security, but also for ensuring energy security, since continued investment in gas exposes countries of operation to high and volatile energy prices that can have a severe impact on their ability to reach development targets. Moreover, they underscore that supporting new gas transportation infrastructure is not a solution to the current energy crisis, given that new infrastructure would not come online for several years, well after the crisis has passed.
The signatories of the statement call on the EBRD to amend the Energy Sector Strategy to
- fully exclude new investments in midstream and downstream gas projects;
- avoid loopholes involving the use of unproven or uneconomic technologies, as well as aspirational but meaningless mitigation measures such as “CCS-readiness”; and
- strengthen the requirements for financial intermediaries where the intended nature of the sub-transactions is not known to exclude fossil fuel finance across the entire value chain.
Download the statement: https://www.iisd.org/system/files/2023-09/ngo-statement-on-energy-sector-strategy-2024-2028.pdf
Complaint against unprofessional conduct of the DPC Kiryandongo district for aiding and abetting land grabbing in kiryandongo district.
Professional Standards Unit, Uganda Police-Kampala.
RE: COMPLAINT AGAINST UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF THE DPC KIRYANDONGO DISTRICT FOR AIDING AND ABETTING LAND GRABBING IN NYAMUTENDE KITWARA PARISH KIRYANDONGO DISTRICT AND CARRYING OUT ILLEGAL ARRESTS AND DETENTION OF INNOCENT RESIDENTS/ BIBANJA OWNERS FOR PROTESTING AGAINST THE ILLEGAL EVICTION FROM THEIR LAND.
We act for and behalf of the Lawful and bonafide occupants of Land described as LRV MAS 2 FOLIO 8 BLOCK 8 PLOT 22 (FORMERLY KNOWN AS RANCH 22).
Our Clients are residents of Nyamutende Village, Kitwara Parish in Kiryandongo District where they have lived for more than 30 years and sometime in 2017, they applied for a lease of the said Land to Kiryandongo District Land Board through the Directorate of Land Matters State House.
As they were still awaiting their Application to be processed, they were shocked to establish that the said land had been instead leased to and registered in the names of Isingoma Julius, Mwesige Simon, John Musokota William, Tumusiime Gerald, Wabwire Messener Gabriel, Ocema Richard and Wilson Shikhama, some of whom were not known to the Complainants. A copy of the Search is attached hereto
Our clients protested the above action and appealed to relevant offices, but were shocked to discover that the above persons had gone ahead and sold the same to a one Maseruka Robert.
Aggrieved by these actions, the Complainants appealed to the RDC who advised them to institute proceedings against the said persons, and assigned them a one Mbabazi Samuel to assist them to that effect. The said Mbabazi accordingly filed Civil Suit Noa 46 of 2019 against tne said registered proprietors at Masindi High Court challenging the illegal and fraudulent registration, sale and transfer of the subject land to Maseruka Robert.
While awaiting the progress of the case mentioned hereinabove, the Complainants were surprised to find that the said Mbabazi, instead of assisting them, he went into a consent settling the said suit on their behalf without their knowledge or consent. A copy of the Consent is attached hereto.
Among the terms of the said consent Judgment was that the residents would be compensated without specifying how much and would in return vacate the Land.
As if that was not enough, Maseruka Robert and Mbabazi Samuel are going ahead to execute the said Consent Judgment by forcefully evicting the occupants without compensation which has prompted the complainants to challenge the said Consent by applying for its review and setting aside at Masindi High Court which is coming up for hearing on the 29th March 2023. A copy of the Application is attached hereto.
Sensing the imminent threat of eviction, we also filed an application for interim stay of execution of the said consent to avoid rendering their application for review nugatory but unfortunately the same could not be heard on the date it was fixed for hearing (6th February 2023). A copy of the Application is attached hereto
On Thursday last week, three tractors being operated by 6 workers of a one Mbabazi Samuel [the very person who had been entrusted to represent our Clients to secure their Land through Civil Suit No.46 of 2019] encroached close to 50 acres of our Clients’ land and started ploughing it but our Client’s protested and chased them away.
We have however been shocked to receive information from our Clients that on Sunday at Mid night, 3 police patrols invaded the community in the night and arrested community members; Mulenje Jack, Steven Kagyenji, Mulekwa David, Ntambala Geoffrey, Tumukunde Isaac 15 years, Kanunu Innocent, Mukombozi Frank, Kuzara, Rwamunyankole Enock, and took them to Kiryandongo Police Station where they are currently detained.
We strongly protest the illegal arrests and detention of our Clients as this is a carefully orchestrated land grabbing scheme by Maseruka Robert and Mbabazi Samuel who are receiving support from the DPC Kiryandongo.
The purpose of this Letter therefore is to request your good office to investigate the misconduct, abuse of office and unprofessionalism of the said DPC Kiryandongo District and all his involvement in the land grabbing schemes on land formerly known as Ranch 22.
Looking forward to your urgent intervention,
C.C The Head Police Land Protection Unit Police Head Quarters Naguru
CC The RDC Kiryandongo District
CC The Chairman LCVKityadongo District
CC The Regional Police CommanderAlbertine Region
The Executive Director of Witness Radio Uganda talks about the role played by Witness Radio in protecting communities affected by large-scale agribusinesses in Kiryandongo district in an interview with the ILC.
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