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Govt sued over Namanve land

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th May 2013 10:15 AM

A local investor has sued Government demanding sh1.8b compensation for general damages, alleging that his land at Namanve Forest reserve in Wakiso district, was forcefully taken by the state.

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A local investor has sued Government demanding sh1.8b compensation for general damages, alleging that his land at Namanve Forest reserve in Wakiso district, was forcefully taken by the state.

By Andante Okanya

A local investor has sued Government demanding sh1.8b compensation for general damages, alleging that his land at Namanve Forest reserve in Wakiso district, was forcefully taken by the state.

Nickson Atukwase petitioned the Commercial Court, purporting breach of contract and trespass on his forest land. Through Akampumuza and Company Advocates, he asserts that he has lost income.

Court documents show that Atukwase was granted a 50-year licence by National Forestry Authority (NFA) for tree planting in Namanve Forest Reserve. It started on August 16, 2004, running to July 15, 2046.

Atukwase claims he planted 9.1 hectares of Eucalyptus, and one hectare of Pine forest. He states that in 2011, he received a phone call from his lawyer Reuben Arinaitwe, informing him that his trees were being cut down.

Atukwase alleges that on rushing to the scene, he found military personnel armed with machetes, axes, pangas, and guns. He claims they were under supervision of the Police.

He further alleges that on  March 25, 2011, soldiers attacked and beat up his workers, grabbed two spray pumps plus 20 litres of herbicides. The investor also claims a drum and other property worth sh12.6m was destroyed.

He purports that the trees were cut, and that police  officers witnessed  the acts but stood  and did not intervene.

Atukwase states that in a joint petition with three other tree planters Fred Ahimbisibwe, Henry Kayondo, and Frank Kyahwa,  they asked Water and Environment minister  Maria Mutagamba to intervene.

He claims the destruction continued throughout last year, compelling him to seek compensation, which he says has been in vain.

Atukwase  wants court to permanently restrain any further trespass on his land. In addition , he wants a 24% annual interest on the sh1.8b  from the date of judgment till full payment.

Government chief legal advisor  the Attorney General, is yet to respond to the claims. A hearing date is yet to be fixed.

 

Govt sued over Namanve land

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