THE parliamentary committee on public accounts is investigating the ownership of Kisozi ranch in Mpigi district. The probe comes after the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Vincent Rubarema, denied that the Government owns the land.
Rubarema told the MPs that the land belonged to Kiwanuka Kisozi, who later sold the ranch to President Yoweri Museveni.
â€œAs far as the ministry records are concerned, the land in Kisozi belongs to a private person and not the Government.â€
But Reagan Okumu (FDC) insisted the President only owns 4-square kilometres of the land, while the Government owns 27-square kilometres, under the Ministry of Defence.
â€œThe National Enterprises Corporation (NEC) bought the land from the private owner. It was restocked using government money. The Ministry of Agriculture used to offer veterinary services.â€ Okumu expressed concern that the land could be easily encroached on.
â€œThe ministry should clear the air. Why isnâ€™t anybody talking about it?â€ he asked.
Army spokesperson Maj. Felix Kulayigye confirmed that the defence ministry owned the ranch in Kisozi.
â€œOkumu is 100% correct. The ranch is still there with our animals. It belongs to the Ministry of Defence. NEC has never collapsed.â€ He, however, said the committee was not justified in questioning the agriculture ministry about ownership of the ranch.
The Auditor Generalâ€™s report for last year stated that the ministryâ€™s land is not surveyed and lacked titles.
â€œThe land has been a subject of encroachment and trespass by unscrupulous persons. Some pieces of land with titles have also been encroached on. This is likely to lead to loss of government property,â€ the report said.
The executive director of the National Animal Genetic Resource Centre, Daniel Ssemambo, also told the MPs that cases of encroachment on government land were reported in Kiruhura district.
He cited Capt. David Byabasaija, who, he said, had encroached on government land in Sanga.
MPs probe Kisozi ranch land ownership