KAYUNGA, UGANDA: Shocking revelations in Kayunga district have revealed that the multi-billion Regional Referral Hospital in the district lacks an independent land title despite being in existence for nearly half a century.
The development has left leaders and stakeholders gripping in fear as this exposes the facility to greedy land grabbers in the district. The hospital sits on about 14 acres of land in the center of the district.
Speaking to DailyMonitor’s Fred Muzaale, Mr Louis Ngobi Muhindo, the principal administrator for Kayunga Regional Referral Hospital, said the district had hoped to secure a land title since time memorial, but the process hit a snag due to the ongoing wrangles between Buganda Kingdom and the family of the late Malaki Kalya over the land ownership.
“There should be no cause for alarm as we are engaging the line ministry (Health) and local leaders to see how we can address that issue,” Mr. Ngobi said on Sunday.
The late Kalya’s family and Buganda Kingdom are locked in a land ownership wrangle, with the former claiming ownership of the 49 acres of land which the latter says belongs to the Kabaka emphasizing that they took over the land after a land swap transaction with the late Kalya.
However, a recent investigative report by the district security committee headed by the Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Mr Peter Mawerere, disclosed that the land in question belongs to late Kalya’s family.
Mr Mawerere said a survey of the land was carried out by the Ministry of Health prior to the renovation and expansion of the facility.
A member of the late Kalya’s family, who preferred anonymity, said they want the government to pay them more than Shs1billion as compensation to hand over the land title to the district authorities.
District Leaders Open Up
Mr Andrew Muwonge, the chairperson of Kayunga district, said Kalya’s family had threatened to drag the government to court for alleged illegal occupancy of their land, but they managed to front mediation.
“I think we can negotiate with them (late Kalya’s family), so that the facility can get a land title,” Mr Muwonge said.
He said the district executive committee passed a resolution to have the process of acquiring a land title for the hospital.
“As the government, we have resolved to negotiate and pay the landlord for that land. Buganda Kingdom has never brought any document to show proof of ownership,” Mr Muwonge said.
Mr Abdul Batambuze, the Kayunga District chief administrative officer, said: “We cannot allow such a big government investment to stall. We shall negotiate with the family and see how to resolve the matter.”
Buganda Kingdom Speaks Out
But Mr James Ssempiga, the Kabaka’s representative in Bugerere County in Kayunga, accused some district officials “of hiding the truth”.
“Why didn’t the Kalya family sue the government when it constructed the hospital on the land?” Mr Ssempiga wondered.
Mr Joseph Kawuki, the Buganda Kingdom local government minister, said they would not let land grabbers take the kingdom’s land.
“Those buying plots on Buganda land are buying hot air. How can someone claim land on which the kingdom has been having its administrative unit for more than 70 years?” Mr Kawuki asked.
Mr Emmanuel Ainebyona, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, said they had not received any information about the land wrangle.
Kayunga regional hospital which was opened in 1972 is the heart of medical treatment serving three constituencies in the district (Bbaale, Ntenjeru North and Ntenjeru South) and the neighboring districts of Nakasongola, Buyende and Kamuli, among others.
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