At least seven families from Abaise Magumba clan in Mayuge district have reclaimed over 50 acres of land belonging to Ikulwe Agricultural research station for redevelopment. They claim the disputed land legally belongs to them. In 2008, the affected families dragged government to court to reclaim the 280 acre piece of land saying they leased it to the colonial government in 1942, and the lease expired in 2005. Court is yet to decide on the ownership of the land.
Sam Kigenyi, one of the claimants accuses government of illegally holding onto to their land. Kigenyi says they are considering suing government and the management of Ikulwe Agriculture Research station of land grabbing and criminal trespass. The claimants have received backing from John Ntale Nanhumba, the royal Chief Bunyhole chiefdom. He says as a person from one of the affected families, government must respect their rights and allow them to plough their land.
Juma Magumba, another claimant says despite receiving threats from government through the ministry of Agriculture Animal Industries and Fisheries – MAAIF they will not give up the fight for their land.
In 2012, police arrested Juma Magumba, Michael Mukwaya and Adriano Akukeera and charged them with trespassing on government land. Dr. Frank Kagoda, the officer in charge of Ikulwe Agricultural Research Institute says the families have opened up 50 acres of land for farming. He says fresh gardens are opened up each morning.
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Omar Daktur Bongo, the Mayuge LCV Chairperson accuses members of the Abaise Magumba of sabotaging development by trying to suffocate agricultural research in Mayuge district.
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Augustus Echopu, Busoga East Regional Police Commander says court is yet to decide the ownership of the disputed land. Echopu says his men are under instructions to maintain and arrest anybody found trespassing on the contested land.