The Assistant Town Clerk of Kimaka-Mpumudde Division in Jinja Municipality is currently behind bars for allegedly withholding information regarding the acquisition of land in forest reserve.

Abubaker Menya Kirunda was detained Wednesday on orders of Justice Catherine Bamugemereire who chairs the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters.

The seven member panel chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire ordered detectives to detain Mr Kirunda and record a statement from him regarding to acquisition of the disputed land.

“Do you know that you are withholding information? Why did not you tell us about the speculation that the forest was going to be degazetted. Can you tell us about the speculation?” Justice Bamugemereire asked.

While handing Mr Kirunda to detectives, Justice Bamugemereire said the assistant town clerk had shown unwillingness to provide the required information which is contempt of the commission.

Evidence before the commission indicates that Mr Kirunda who owns 0.9 hectares is one of the 18 people who were allocated freehold titles on forest land in Kimaka after the land board subdivided it into plots.

Others are; Alex Kiwanuka, a financial officer in Walukuba- Masese Division, Wilson Kusererwa (Principal land officer at Jinja Ministry Zonal officer), Muzamiru Nabyuma, Felix Obete, Fauzia Achan and Ndegeya.

Kirunda who was appearing before the commission at the Civil Service College Uganda in Jinja was accused of obstructing justice.
Bamugemereire told police detectives that Kirunda was unwilling to provide the required information hence showing contempt of the commission.
The official had told the commission the land in question would be degazetted and that the district council had already written to National Forest Authority (NFA).

He later confessed to illegally owning the forest land on “customary basis to acquire a freehold title” and that he had bought his forms through businessman, Yahaya Kisaakye.

The commission thus asked Kirunda to hand over his land title for further scrutiny and investigations.

Last week, Bamugemereire ordered for the arrest of a senior registrar of titles in the Ministry of Lands, Louella Ataro for refusing to answer questions regarding her role in the issuance of more than 10 land titles in Kijjabijo wetland in Wakiso District.