Mbale City prominent businessman arrested over govt land

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Ismail Walujo, a councilor representing workers at Mbale City Council and a prominent businessman, has been arrested on allegations of grabbing government land in Nakaloke Town Council. The arrest was made by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit working in conjunction with the police, and the suspect was taken to Kampala.

According to Mariam Natasha Oduka, spokesperson for the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, the suspect allegedly conspired with former officials to sell roughly 52 acres of government land in Nakaloke Town Council, which was then subdivided into various plots, with the majority going to the suspect. In addition, Mr. Walujo is alleged to have grabbed the government-aided Umar and Yumbe Primary School in Mbale City, setting up a washing bay and restaurant on the site.

He is also accused of bribing city education officials to stop following up on the case, leading to the collapse of the school as teachers and resources were not being sent there. Last year, seven public servants in Mbale City were also arrested on allegations of illegally allocating the same land to private developers.

Local Government minister Raphael Magyezi has since ordered the cancellation of lease offers on the disputed land and suspended the Mbale District land board, with all private developers ordered to halt any projects on the land.

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