Lt Col (Rtd) Bright Rwamirama, the State for Agriculture in charge of Animal and Veterinary Affairs has directed that everyone who has encroached on government ranch land vacates it with immediate effect.
Encroachers have taken over 15 square miles of government land in Ruhengyere, Nshaara and Sanga ranches in Kiruhura District among others throughout the country.
On Wednesday, Rwamirama visited the National Animal Genetics Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC & DB) headquarters in Entebbe and directed that encroachers should not be allowed on the land.
“I can’t see a government facility is there, police is there but encroachers are on the land. I will not tolerate that nonsense,”Rwamirama said.
“There is no trespass on government land. You cannot just come to encroach on government land. They (encroachers) must leave the land immediately. Let them go to court to prove the ownership of the land.”
The Minister said there are a few instances in which some people have been legally given part of the land to do some developments, but said these are known and well documented.
He, however, warned that there are those who have illegally encroached on the land and got private land titles.
“I don’t know how people come and get titles on government land. They should all give way.”
The Minister was also told that some former staff at NAGRC have refused to vacate the organisation’s houses whereas others have not returned vehicles, despite leaving the NAGRC many years ago.
This website has learnt that one of these is the former Executive Director, Dr Wilberforce Kifudde who has refused to hand over the house despite leaving NAGRC many years ago.
The Minister in response said he will not tolerate “this nonsense”.
“It is not to me but I will deal with it. We can’t allow impunity. The contract ends and you are still in the house for four year! What kind of nonsense is this? That is impunity that must stop. I implore the new board to have this sorted quickly. We cannot allow this kind of nonsense in the organisation,” the minister vowed.
He said that these people were taking advantage of the absence of a board and that after appointment to the Ministry, one of the things he did was to put in place a new board.
The NAGRC board chairman, Dr. Johnson Nkuuhe said land grabbing will be the first issues to be worked on by the new board.
“The ranches belong to government and benefit Ugandans. Those with land titles on it should have them cancelled. It is important that as custodians of the land we guard it jealously,”Nkuuhe said.
He said the directives by the minister will be followed to the latter to ensure sanity at NAGRC.