The Mubende Municipality Member of parliament, Hajji Bashir Lubega is under this spotlight for allegedly grabbing land belonging to the National Teachers’ College- NTC in Mubende District. It is alleged that Lubega started grading the college land without the knowledge and consent of the administrators or the Ministry of Education and Sports-MOES.
The college seats on two pieces of land divided by the Kampala-Mubende Highway. However, some people have claimed the college land, according to the management.
Francis Kateregga, the Principal of Mubende NTC, says that Lubega paid him a visit together with the area Local council chairperson and expressed his interest to set up a showroom on the college land. He says that they agreed to allow him to get consent from the MOES and College management before they sign a Memorandum of Understanding –MOU.
Kateregga however, says that Lubega has gone ahead to grade the land contrary to their oral agreement, which required the two parties to sign an MOU. He says that the MP wants to construct a showroom for some commercial items to make business for the youth. Kateregga says that their neighbours on the land across the road have also encroached on the land while others have since developed their interest to put up commercial structures.
“So you find that many people are scrambling for this piece of land, which belongs to the College,” he added. Kateregga says that the college management has petitioned the Resident District Commissioner – RDC, the Police and the Town Clerk who have since visited the contested land and pledged to block the developments.
“When we sit together at the table, the MP will be able to agree and abide by the terms and conditions to be set by the institution for utilizing that land. My administration should not be blamed that we connived with the MP to give out the land,” said Kateregga. The land measures about 11 acres.
Ibrahim Machete Kiggundu, a Councilor at Mubende Municipality blames the encroachment on the college land on impunity and greed in the name of development. Kiggundu, who also doubles as the Mubende Municipal Education Secretary, says that they have been naming and shaming people who destroy the environment and grab land but through some collusion with the different offices, such activities thrive in the area.
Lubega insisted that he owns the graded area and that he has the documents toprove his claim ownership because he purchased the contested land from the families that own it. “Ask yourself, why does he think I went to his office, even before I purchased, the NTC land crossed the road but it is a very small portion, which is almost the road reserve and it does not comprise of the entire graded land. It is very minimal and I promised to negotiate with the NTC because I am not the only squatter on that side but there are more than 50 people and NTC has no plot across the road,” he said in a telephone interview.
Lubega also accused the college of fencing off peoples’ land, which comprises the playground. He pledged to corporate if it is found that he encroached on the NTC land. Records show that the NTC started in the 1970s as a primary teachers’ college before the government elevated it.
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