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Elderly Woman Accuses Kabarole Police of Bungling Up Land Case

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Tibahwinura explains that on February 25, 2019, their LC I Chairperson, Paul Kateeka led his executive committee and a businessman, John Kyalimpa to her land and started destroying her crops including beans; yams, fruit trees and cut her hedge.
15 May 2019 07:41
Photos used as evidence and taken on the day Tereza Tibahwinura's land was encroached on and her food crop destroyed indicate that the orginal land marks were ignored to create a wider access route

Audio 3

Eighty-year-old Tereza Tibahwinura, a resident of Kigwenge Village in Rubingo Parish in Karambi Sub County in Kabarole district is up in arms against for bungling up her land case. 

 

Tibahwinura explains that on February 25, 2019, their LC I Chairperson, Paul Kateeka led his executive committee and a businessman, John Kyalimpa to her land and started destroying her crops including beans; yams, fruit trees and cut her hedge.  

 

She says the LC officials also uprooted boundary marks between her land and that of Joseph Byaruhanga to create an access route for Kyalimpa whose land lies behind her plot.

According to Tibahwinura, she was never consulted before the decision to tamper with her land was taken. She says that when she inquired from the officials, Kateeka told her that Kyalimpa needed an access route and that was the only way it could be created.

Tibahwinura says the officials ordered her to shut up or else they clear a bigger part of her land.  According to Tibahwinura, she quickly reported the matter to Karambi police post prompting the Officer-in-charge, Patrick Bahemuka to visit the scene where he took photos of what had been damaged and immediately arrested Kyalimpa and Kateeka for criminal trespass, malicious damage, threatening violence, and removing boundary marks.    

They were charged under SD Reference Number 04/25/02/2019 at Karambi Police Post. Bahemuka, who has since been transferred to Harugongo Police Post, says he collected all the exhibits and locked up the duo but they released on police bond later in the day.

He says their file was submitted to Kabarole Police Station in Fort Portal, adding that his input on the case ended at that point. Tibahwinura and her daughters, Mary Concepta and Maria Gorreti Basemera pursued the case at Fort Portal station and it was recorded under CRB 295/2019.  

At this moment, Tibahwinura and her daughters say that the file started moving around offices including that of the Officer in Charge of Criminal Investigations Department in Kabarole, Godliver Twinomugisha, District State Attorney, Adam Waswa, Regional Principal State Attorney, Kulu Idambi and the Officer in Charge of Criminal Investigations Department in Rwenzori region, Suleman Kabuye.  

Tibahwinura explains that because she is too old and weak to run after the file, her daughters took charge of the matter but have never succeeded because of being tossed from one office to another.

//Cue in: “Obutwangenzere mwa State…

Cue out… niatwe ntuseruliza.”//  

According to Concepta, her efforts to move the case forward didn’t yield results prompting her to give up after she was told by undisclosed informers in police that their file had been closed.  

The family members say that what hurts them most is that on May 6, Kyalimpa and some unidentified people went back to the same contested land and started clearing it. 

Concepta says that when her sister, Basemera approached them to inquire why they were clearing the contested land before the issue is settled, the group took her photos and opened a case of threatening violence against her.  

Basemera was locked up at Fort Portal police station from May 6 up to May 10 when she was taken to Fort Portal Magistrate’s Court and released on bail after all efforts to get her out on police bond failed to yield results. The family wonders how Kyalimpa and Kateeka would be released on bond and Basemera denied the same right. 

Kabarole OC CID, Twinomugisha couldn’t explain why Basemera was denied bond but hastened to add that bond can be denied if police detects that the suspect’s life is danger once released back to the public and if investigations are still pending.  

On his part, the Regional OC CID, Suleman Kabuye said that he visited the contest land to ensure that the two parties resolve the issue amicably but his efforts were futile because Kateeka disrupted the meeting, saying that whatever he did was right.     

However, he notes that from what he observed, the chairman and his executive committee had illegally encroached on Tibahwinura’s land on top of destroying her crops and other things.

//Cue in: “L.C.I executive was insisting…

Cue out… think you erred.”// 

On the details of the file, Kabuye says that with the help of Idamba, they resolved that the two parties resolve the matter in a civil court and stop involving police.

He however, couldn’t explain how four criminal cases slapped against Kateeka and Kyalimpa could be turned into civil matters and why Tibawhinura’s family wasn’t informed about the decision. 

Kateeka insists that whatever he did was legal and doesn’t owe anyone an explanation until he is summoned by court.  

Basemera, who is diabetic and stuck at home for treatment, says she went through terrible conditions while in cells.  

Tibahwinura is now calling upon government and people who can offer legal assistance to come to her rescue, saying police has totally failed to protect her against land grabbing.  

//Cue in: “Ninserra government enyambe…  

Cue out… habwokuba gutabeho.”//