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.
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
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,
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
//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
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.
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.