The National Forestry Authority (NFA) plans to evict several people, including businessman Ephraim Ntaganda, from Kyewanga Central Forest Reserve in Wakiso district, at the urging of State House.
The forest measures approximately 209.670 hectares and is located along the Lake Victoria shores, near Abaita Ababiri in Entebbe. It was first demarcated and declared a forest reserve under Legal Notice No. 87 of 1932.
Ntaganda and one Hassan Magezi are some of the people State House wants evicted from more than 12 plots in the said forest reserve. An investigation found evidence of illegal sub-division of part of the forest land into several plots on Busiro Block 447.
“If the alleged sub-divisions of NFA land is true, you are advised to lawfully evict the encroachers, restore the degraded forest and initiate cancellation of illegally issued certificates of land titles,” wrote Patience Mubangizi, on behalf of the Principal Private Secretary to the president, on June 7.
Her letter was addressed to the NFA executive director. The Entebbe Division Police Commander, Environmental Police, RDCs and DISO in the area have been asked to help in enforcing this order.
Kyewaga forest is said to be an important component of the ecosystem in Wakiso and Entebbe as it moderates weather, preserves and protects the environment as well as being a habitat for wildlife. In the same letter, Mubangizi requests the NFA executive director to appoint a convenient date when he will guide stakeholders on a joint physical inspection of the forest.
When contacted for a comment, Ntaganda denied having any interest in the forest. But when this writer told him that some of the questionable land titles are in the names of his three known companies, including Prestigious Apartments and Real Choice (U) Limited, he said:
“Well, I need to see the alleged titles because initially I had an interest there; so, I can’t be sure unless I look at documentary evidence.”
Though we could not get Magezi for a comment, the certificate of title in his name shows that the land title on plot 207 was registered on May 24, 2011 by the Registrar of Titles. On May 27, 2013, the NFA issued a public notice in form of an advert, notifying any person claiming an interest in Kyewaga forest to beware.
“The general public is advised that any person seeking to purchase, sell or otherwise grant or obtain title to land bordering a forest reserve, should make every effort and ensure that the land is not within a forest reserve,” added the public notice.
|< Prev||Next >|