By Jumah Nsubuga
MPs have today tasked the State Ministries of Environment Flavia Munaaba and that of lands Daudi Migereko to explain the circumstances under which private developers acquire land titles in wetlands.
The MPs tasked the minister while debating her statement issued at the floor of parliament over the degradation of the Kinawataka wetland.
The minister said that government stopped all the activities on the wet land. The angry MPs disagreed with her saying that people are still constructing in this wet land cited out Kinawataka.
Munaba said that Kinawataka wetland is not for economic development and letters directing stoppage of any activity on this wet land were sent to all local leaders
The MPs expressed concerns over the continued acquisition of land titles over properties under areas gazatted as wetlands protected under environmental laws.
Mbarara municipality MP Medrad Bitekyerezo wondered whether the ministry of lands consults with its counterparts in the ministry of environment before issuing out these land titles.
Meanwhile Serere County MP Stephen Ochola also accused the minister for failure to take serious actions upon the encroachers on wetlands since they are well to do people and not ordinary poor people.
Hon Ochola added that because there no deliberate efforts by the authorities to restore the degraded wetlands, the minister should resign for failing to protect this natural resource.
Relatedly Budadiri County MP Nathan Nandala Mafabi said besides cancelling the land titles in the wetlands as proposed by government, the surveyors, and local authorities and other officers in the ministry of lands that sanction the land transactions in the prohibited areas should be apprehended as well.
The Shadow Minister for Enviroment John Ken Lukyamuzi told parliament that there is reliable information that the Kinawataka wetland was sold to unidentified Asian who was issued with a land title saying this is a sign of negligence on the part of the relevant ministry.
Tororo county MP Geofrey Ekanya and Merdad also asked government to bring to parliament the land title of Kinawataka wetland and a lists of names of persons destroying this wetland so as a decision is taken .
Meanwhile the Speaker of Parliament has directed the Natural resources committee at parliament to visit Kinawataka Wetland and find out what exactly taking place and then report back to parliament.