Otafire: Government doesn’t own Njeru stock farm

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Gen. Kahinda Otafire has told Parliament that he legally acquired 50 acres of Njeru stock farm land in Buikwe district.

On Thursday, Otafire tabled documents that to prove his claim that he did not grab government land, but bought it from an individual.

The 1,099-acre farm located at Bukaya West Village, in Njeru Municipality, is one of the government farms managed under the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank, and hosts a demonstration farm, a breeding centre and a research centre, among other facilities.

Otafire said, he wants the government to leave the land that he had rightfully acquired from the late Kato Fredrick and Christopher Lule who were the administrators of the estates of the late Enoka Sebowa and Gustar Seruwo who were the first registered proprietors of the land.

He tabled copies of certificate of title, sale agreement, judgement of the Buganda Lukiiko on the land dispute and letters of administration among other documents before telling the House that government doesn’t any titles over the land.

MPs however accused Otafire of using his office to grab the land. For instance, Nandala Mafabi (Budadiri West) said, Otafiire has often been involved in illegal acquisition of government land.

Lilly Adong (Nwoya Woman) said while it is true the land belonged to a private individual and was being rented by Njeru stock farm but Otafire ran to acquire it as soon as he learn that the lease government had over the land soon expiring.

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga says she will go through the documents tabled by Otafire and make a ruling on Tuesday.

Recently, the commission of inquiry into land matters recently heard that Gen Otafire owns 50 acres of the land while former Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma owns 43 acres.

It was also alleged that Otafire sent a group of armed men to destroy the government facilities and take possession of the land.

The men, led by Wilberforce Muhangi, an official from a construction firm; Global International Alliance, are said to have vandalized all equipment and structures on the site and fenced it off with iron sheets, allegedly on the orders of General Otafire.

A 2014 investigation by the Inspector General of Government indicates that Njeru Town Council got a lease on the land in 1967 and in 1969, sub-leased 306 acres to the Ministry of Agriculture for Njeru Stock Farm