The Commissioner of Juba County, Charles Wani, dismissed allegations that he has been using his office to perpetrate land grabbing in the city.
Addressing the media during the CES parliamentary sitting on Monday, Wani said the issue of land grabbing is one of national security that has been continuing because of a lack of proper measures.
“The issue of land grabbing is a national security issue that has been happening, and I have been talking about it all the time. I have not been silenced since I was appointed as a commissioner of Juba County,” Wani said.
He said the interference by some local chiefs, high-ranking government officials and big military commanders are some of the root causes of the endemic land-grabbing problems.
Wani fought off some social media rumours linking him to the misuse of the local chiefs in irregular land allocation, saying he has publicly condemned the allegations. He claimed that the vice president enjoys the support of some protected senior members of the organised forces.
“This is one of the justifications for my answers that the land grabbing perpetrated by high-ranking officials and the military is not right,” he added.
Wani reassured the CES legislative members that he would remain determined to find solutions to the issue of illegal land grabbing.
“Dear honourable members… I will still continue fighting for the issue of land grabbing until it stops,” he stated.
“We have come to our senses that we need to work together with ministers in the state so that we can deliver services to our people,” he said.
“The land-grabbing issues started way back when I was in secondary school, and we are trying to protect against them. When we had a dispute during those days, someone was injured in front of me while being beaten because of his own land. This was not a good habit,” Wani stated.
Wani urged the members and other stakeholders to work closely to eradicate the illegal issue of land grabbing in Central Equatoria State.
“That is why I’m calling upon all of us to stop the issue of land grabbing through collective efforts from various stakeholders,” he stressed.
The commissioner was summoned last week alongside two other ministers over the issue of land grabbing and insecurity but the trio failed to appear before the Central Equatoria State Legislative Assembly.
After skipping the summons, the lawmakers were furious and threatened to remove them. It is not the first time that Wani has blamed the rampant land grabbing on the powerful leaders in the military. Earlier this year, he made similar accusations, but the spokesperson of the SSPDF, Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai, denied such claims.