AGAIN! Rukungiri CAO, LC5 chairman on spot over district land saga

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The Rukungiri District council meeting yesterday turned chaotic after councilors accused top Rukungiri district leadership for conniving with Rukungiri municipality and allocated another land to them without their concern.

Members of finance and planning committee expressed concern to the council during their report presentation, stating that land at Rwamahwa Health Center (IV), approximately three acres in size, was allocated by the Rukungiri top leadership, under the direction of CAO Hajji Masokoyi Wasswa and chairperson LC5, Mr. Geofrey Kyomukama, without a council resolution.

Councilors and the speaker Mr. James Turyamuboona revealed during the council meeting that they had inquired of Chairman LC5, Mr. Kyomukama, whether he was aware of the district’s desire to surrender the land to the municipality but responded by telling them to reject the information, calling it hearsay.

However, it was when councilors saw a letter from the Rukungiri municipal town clerk to CAO Rukungiri telling him to write to all tenants in the contested land to vacate with immediate effect since they want to carry out some renovations that they became aware of the top leadership of the Rukungiri district’s hidden agenda.

Council members say they were taken aback when they saw the town clerk telling the CAO to tell his workers to leave houses on the disputed land, a sign that they had a swap agreement.

Leading the charge were Hon. Albert Rwamugata of the Buyanja Sub County, Alex Tumuramye of Nyakagyeme, Winnie Nahurira from Kebisoni sub-county and town council, and Kyarisima Benon of Buhunga sub-county.

They informed the speaker and other council members that the unlawful evictions taking place at the contested land ought to stop since they are against the law.

Hon. Rwamugata and Matsiko who is representing people with disabilities asserted that the District Executive Committee, chaired by Chairperson LC5, has lost the trust of the council since its members make decisions without consulting the body.

Citing examples of district lands stolen without legal identification, they denounced the seeming disrespect shown to the council.

They clarified that their goal is transparency and they are not against the construction of a general hospital at Rwamahwa health center (IV).

Cue in…………HON RWAMUGATA AND MATSIKO………

Drama, however, started when CAO Hajji Waswa Masokoyi revealed that what is being done to evict people on the contested land is valid and that he would keep up implementing the rulings.

This upset the speaker and his councilors and resulted in a heated exchange of words.

Cue in….SPEAKER AND CAO…………….

According to Hon. Alex Tumuramye, the councilor for Nyakagyeme Sub County, the Rukungiri municipality is taking advantage of the district’s laxity and, without the council’s knowledge, is internally plotting with the top district leadership.

They were shocked to learn that, despite the LC5 chairman’s claims that they are only rumors, Tumuramye indicated that the contested land is actually being surveyed and that they are in the process of obtaining land title.

But he asserted that in order to prevent district lands from being stolen unlawfully, now is the moment for district councilors and all Rukungiri locals to speak up.

Cue in…………HON TUMURAMYE…………….

Meanwhile the Rukungiri district chairperson LC5 Mr. Geofrey Kyomukama disputed the claims alleging that Rukungiri district local government didn’t control that area as Kagunga Sub County by then 2010 was converted to Rukungiri municipality including Rwamahwa.

However, the speaker of the Rukungiri district council claims that the district has been collecting rent from houses on the disputed territory.

Cue in…….LC5 CHAIRMAN…………….

The council however created a committee of eleven councilors and two technical staff chaired by Hon. Alex Tumuramye to investigate about the matter and report to the house in the next council which will take place next month.

This is not the first time the Rukungiri district CAO and LC5 are accused of being involved in a government land saga including Bikurungu and another land where the municipality is constructing its headquarters.