Police in Luweero has arrested at least 16 people hired by Buganda Kingdom finance office, the Nkuluze, to carry out evictions.
On Saturday the Nkuluze attempted to evict over 50 tenants of Bugabo village in Kalagala Sub County to pave way for planting of trees on 107 acres which are privately owned by the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi.
The land in question is located at plot 1373 block 17 in Kalagala Sub County, Luweero district.
The men armed with machetes, big sticks and tractor invaded the gardens of the tenants and destroyed food crops. The angry residents responded by burning the tractor and Police officers from Bombo Police Station were called in to restore order.
Raymond Jjagwe, the Luweero District Criminal Investigations Department (CID) boss explains that following the incident Police has arrested 16 men who were hired to evict the people.
Jjagwe explains that the youths are currently detained at Luweero Central Police Station and will appear in court on Tuesday to face charges of malicious damage to residents' food crops.
Jjagwe also faulted the office of Nkuluze for not following the procedures to evict people and hiring what he called 'goons' to brutalize the residents.
He also added that Police is hunting for residents who participated in burning the tractor to also face court for malicious damage to property.
Some of those who have been arrested include Shafik Matovu, Arnold Ssekandi, Jonah Njakwasi, Kassim Ssendujja, Emmanuel Twikiriza, God Kibirige, Julius Mwanje, Fred Muyingo and Brian Amanyire among others. They are all residents of Lubaga and Kisenyi in Kampala.
Daniel Sserubidde, the Local Council 3 Chairman of Kalagala sub county explains that before the incident the tenants had asked the office of Nkuluze to allow them harvest their food crops and buy themselves off the land in vain.
Sserubidde adds that it was painful to see the same office using force to destroy their crops.
He says that Nkuluze has been approached by the office of the Resident District Commissioner and area MP John Chrysostom Muyingo over the matter all in vain.
Last year over 100 tenants on same piece of land staged a demonstration at Luweero district headquarters in protest of what they called eviction from their land without compensation.
Solomon Mukudde, the Local Council One Chairman of Bugabo village told URN the tenants had lived on the land for more than 60 years and had nowhere to go.
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But the Minister of Information for Buganda Kingdom, Noah Kiyimba, insists that this won't stop the Kabaka and Buganda Kingdom from accessing and developing the land.
He condemned the burning of the tractor saying it was not necessary and insisted that the people who did it were compensated to leave the land. Kiyimba promised to release a full statement on the incident later in the day.
Last week, Nkuluze office came under spotlight when they destroyed part of artist Bobi Wine's One Love Beach at Busabala accusing him of encroaching on the kingdom land. Buganda Kingdom officials claimed that Bobi Wine was leased only 6.25 acres of land for the redevelopment but he went ahead and annexed another 0.5 acres without their authorization.
Bobi Wine insisted that he paid 20 million shillings to Nkuluze for leasing the land and has since written to the Kabaka over the matter.