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Bunyoro Kingdom, Tycoon, Residents Feud Over Land

Erias Bin Karim, one of the affected residents says that in 2007, Mugabe bought 235 acres of land in the neighboring area and acquired a title in 2012. He says that Mugabe wants to use his title to grab 470 acres of land that belongs to them.

Audio 5

Bunyoro Kitara kingdom is locked up in a land feud with Hoima-based businessman, William Mugabe and over 300 families in Kikuube district. The contested land measuring approximately 700 acres is found in Rwengabi village, Kaseeta parish in Kabwoya sub county. 

Residents claim that they have been settlers on the contested land since the 1940s and wonder why Mugabe and the Kingdom are claiming ownership. Erias Bin Karim, one of the affected residents says that in 2007, Mugabe bought 235 acres of land in the neighboring area and acquired a title in 2012. He says that Mugabe wants to use his title to grab 470 acres of land that belongs to them.

//Cue in;”Twa tungire zali zo…

Cue out:…Habwaki tabi wolekeze,”//. 

Patrick Okwairwoth, the Rwengabi LC I  Village Chairperson, says that many residents on the contested land have been compelled to flee following the torture being inflicted on them by UPDF soldiers.  Vincent Opio, the area LC 5 councilor, who doubles as the Kikuube LC 5 Vice Chairperson, accuses Mugabe of torturing residents using the police and soldiers deployed on the contested piece of land. 

//Cue in;”Akaletamu abasirikale naba…

Cue out:…bwagaruka mukicweka kyaitu,”//.

Mugabe, who is accused of attempting to grab the land, says he genuinely acquired the land and obtained his title in 2012 and wonders why the residents are up in arms against him.

//Cue in;”Eitaka lyo nyini…

Cue out:…tulimanyire liba lita,”//.

In a related development, the Bunyoro Kitara kingdom has also come out to claim the land, saying that it belongs to the kingdom. Fred Mugenyi Rucunya, the Chief Prince of the Babiito, which is the ruling clan of the Bunyoro Kitara kingdom, says the entire land that is under contestation belongs to the kingdom.

According to Rucunya, the land is a hunting ground for King Solomon Gafabusa Iguru and no one else owns it. He says Mugabe fraudulently acquired the title without the consent of the Kingdom, adding that if he fails to vacate the land, they will take the matter before court. 

//cue in;”Bakimanyire tugenda kuba…

Cue out:…tosobora kumu singa,”//. 

Vincent Mwesigye, the Albertine Region Police Commander-RPC, says that they are to deploy both the police and UPDF in the area to restore sanity on the contested land until the rightful and genuine owner is identified either by court or other avenues.

//cue in;”so for us… Cue out:…

go to court,”//.

Amlan Tumusiime, the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner-RDC, says that there are many illegal titles in the district that are being used to evict area residents. 

"The existence of fraudulently acquired land titles is putting residents in this area on tension. People can’t freely settle on their land but I’m going to fight this vice and I call for good working relationships with other stakeholders to fight this," said Tumusiime.

Tumusiime says that as a government, they will not allow any one to be evicted from land using forged or illegally acquired titles. Leaders in Bunyoro sub-region have for long raised a red flag over the increasing fraudulent land titles in the region. The leaders have severally appealed to the Lands Ministry to intervene and cancel all the titles acquired fraudulently.       

 

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