The Minister for Internal Affairs designate, Gen Kahinda Otafire has defended his ownership of the contested nine-acre piece of land in Munyonyo, Makindye division.
The land is under contention between businessman, Amdan Khan who claims to have bought the land near the Catholic Martyrs Shrine in Munyonyo in 1979 from a one Temaligwe Afanasic, which he holds as a Kibanja holder.
Otafire on the other hand claims he bought the land in 2011 from Christopher Obey, the jailed former principal accountant in the Ministry of Public Service. The dispute escalated on Thursday last week when security with links to Otafire reportedly destroyed property on the disputed land.
On Tuesday, Otafire claimed that he is in possession of the land title and tasked Khan to prove otherwise that he actually has receipts of ground rent for the property since he claims to be a Kibanja owner. A kibanja holder is a person who settled on land in Buganda as a customary tenant with the consent of the land Mailo owners.
Addressing journalists shortly after appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting for his new ministerial appointment, Otafire said that he will secure an order from the court restraining Khan from interfering with his land.
He also refuted claims that he destroyed property on the disputed land, saying that it is the police that went to the area. Otafire says that the claimant is a young man whose claims of purchasing the contested land in 1979 are false.
He also says that there is no record anywhere to the effect that Khan owned the contested land or resided on it.
Asked why his name keeps coming up in the land disputes including the contention over the Njeru stock farmland, Otafire said that he was exonerated since he acquired the land genuinely and has the land title. Both Otafire and Khan have filed cases at Katwe Police station.
In 2019 Parliament chaired by the then Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, tasked Otafire to explain the circumstances under, which he took over land belonging to Njeru Stock Farm. The 1,099-acre farm located at Bukaya West Village, in Njeru municipality, is one of the government farms managed under the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank.
The land hosts a demonstration farm, breeding center and research center among other facilities. However, Up to 504 acres of the farm have been lost fraudulently to private individuals. URN