Officials from the Buganda Land Board and the Sugar Co-operation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL) on Tuesday toured over 30 square miles of land which Kabaka Ronald Mutebi wants to give Mehta to grow sugarcane.
The move is intended to save Mabira Forest. The Minister of State for Economic Planning, Development and Investments in Buganda Kingdom, Rajni Tailor, led SCOUL officials on the tour.
The group toured land in Magonga, Nakigguddo and Kiwafu villages. They also visited Maggwa and Nalyankanja villages in Kimenyedde sub-county in Mukono district.
The SCOUL officials were led by Choindra Seikarak, the agriculture manager and Alfred Othieno, the land officer. Lameka Ssonko, an official from Mengo, said there was more land in Kasawo and Seeta-Namuganda sub-counties in Mukono district, for Mehta to choose from.
Ssonko stressed that the land belongs to the Kabaka and has no squatters on it. â€œThe land is over 40 square miles. It is upon Mehta to decide which part to use,â€ he said.
Tailor said they came for a site visit to stop rumours that Mengo does not have land to give Mehta. â€œOther people are saying there are squatters on the land. During our tour, we did not find squatters and being the property of the Kabaka, we expect no resistance,â€ Tailor said.
He added that the Kabaka was willing to give SCOUL a long-term lease on the land. Mengo officials gave Mehta one month to survey the land so that they can set terms and conditions for its use.
Zikusooka said experts would assess the land to find out its suitability for sugarcane growing. He said the area would develop if Mehta reached a consensus with the Kabaka and started growing sugarcane.
â€œThe place needs health facilities, schools, medical centres and electricity. It will only get them if an investor starts using the land,â€ he said.
In April 2007, a group of Ugandans demonstrated against the Governmentâ€™s planned give-away of Mabira Forest.
Three Ugandans and an Indian died in the proests.
Mengo shows Mehta land