Prisons accused of trying to grab land in Kasese as it cuts down 8 acres of Acacia trees

Edward Makanika and Fahad Masereka

About 8 acres of Acacia trees have been cut down by Mubuku prisoners on the orders said to be from above.This happened on the 3rd of January 2018 morning in Muhokya sub-county in Kasese district.

The acacia trees and the land on which they were planted is said to belong to Muhokya sub-county local government.

The cutting is said to have been spearheaded by a one Komakech Godfrey, the officer in charge Mubuku prisons, who claims it is prison land.

Our source narrated that the total land is about 48 acres where 3.8 acres of the land are occupied by Muhokya sub-county health centre III and the rest of the land by acacia trees. The exercise was halted when concerned residents intervened.

The LC5 chairperson Kasese district Godfrey Bigogo wondered what possessed the prison authorities to try to claim government land.

Bigogo warned Komakech against disrespecting civil leadership and urged and the prisons Commissioner General Johnson Byabashaija to rein in his subordinate.

Ernest Kasoke, the LCIII Chairperson, expressed shock that Komakech had tried to force his way onto the land citing his superior military rank.

Kasoke claimed that the sub-county already had plans to plant oranges on the land and destroying the trees was meant to destroy evidence that it was already under use.

Ernest went ahead to reveal that in the year 2012 the president pledged to upgrade the health centre III into a health centre IV. The health centre IV is meant to be built on this land too.

Wilson Kiiza, the in-charge of Muhokya health centre III, condemned the destruction of the trees which had helped prevent floods.

Komakech declined to speak to journalists and instead referred us to Frank Baine, the prisons public relations officer. We were unable to get a response by time of filing this report.

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