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Fury in Kasangati as Evicted Residents Confront Police

Violent clashes have broken out between police and residents of Lusanja village, Kasangati Town Council in Wakiso District who were resisting eviction by a city businessman identified as Medard Kiconco, the proprietor of Lexman Industries.
Residents engage police officers in running battles.

Audio 7

Violent clashes have broken out between police and residents of Lusanja village, Kasangati Town Council in Wakiso District who were resisting eviction by a city businessman identified as Medard  Kiconco, the proprietor of Lexman Industries. 

//Cue in…field ambience.”//

Over 150 households are believed to have been affected as youths assumed to be court bailiffs, guarded by anti-riot police, stormed the village as early as 6am and gave them 20 minutes to pack up their property before they started demolishing their houses. 

Those affected say that Kiconco built what looks to be a factory adjacent to their land and after a time he sent his agents to inform the locals that he had leased the entire land requesting them to vacate.

Bartholomew Kabunga, a councillor representing Kiteezi parish, says the disputed land is part of the Square Mile belonging to Namasole (queen mother) Bagala Ayaze of Mpererwe and several residents had acquired bibanja and others plots on it over years.

Kabunga adds that in 2014 Kiconco through his agents informed the occupants of the land that he had leased it to expand his factory. Since then, according to Kabunga, several meetings have been held with the objective of resolving the dispute but Kiconco snubbed the invitations.

He says leaders of area wanted to know who had ordered the eviction only to be shown an eviction order issued in 2014 which was not stamped. He adds that when they tried to question the order police officers chased them using clubs.

//Cue in: “Omusajja bamuyita Kiconco…

Cue out… bagalaayaze mpererwe empererwe.”//

Cissy Namagembe, one of the victims, says that some residents were still asleep since it was raining yet others had taken their children to school only to find their houses down.

With tears in her eyes, Namagembe narrates that the angry scenes saw residents fight back to resist eviction prompting police officers to answer them with bullets, teargas and even caning them as the eviction continued.

//Cue in: “Police Zzize mpitirivu…

Cue out…ng'ewakka wamenye.”//

She notes that over time they have asked Kiconco to duly compensate them but he instead selected a few individuals. Namagembe adds that when they insisted that they wanted to be compensated too, he offered them what she called ‘peanuts' which they could hardly use to buy land elsewhere.

 

//Cue in: “Nebamuyiita tuteese naye…

Cue out… tuveewo mubulungi.”//

 

However, Simon Kalungi, another victim, agrees that they had been warned to vacate the land last year but some of their leaders told them to wait as they handled the process to ensure that everybody is compensated. Kalungi adds that since then they thought the matter had been resolved until today when their houses were demolished without any prior warning.

                    

//Cue in: “Baali babawooninga…

Cue out…nze nasendeddwa dda.”//

When contacted, Kiconco, who says he is planning to put a multi-billion manufacturing industry producing plastics, steel and textile among other components, told URN that the evicted individuals were hoodwinked by politicians whom he says are after their own benefits.

Kiconco claims that the said land is not in Wakiso as alleged. He adds that to his knowledge and according to the documents, his land which measures 9.6 acres is located on Block 206 plot 671 Ssekanyonyi which is in Kampala yet residents have over time noted that the land is situated on Block 98 plot 55 Lusanje, Wakiso.

He adds that he has lost a lot of funds to an extent that he accepted to incur loses to compensate people who claimed ownership in order to end the conflict. He says the land had 16 occupants but to his disappointment on return he found more squatters putting up houses.

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Cue out…”//

He adds that after residents had frustrated him, he sought government's intervention which saw the Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda, setting up a probe team involving several entities including the President's office,Ministry of Lands, political leadership, security and Uganda Investment Authority among others. He says the probe team resolved that the land belonged to him and he could go on with the investment. 

//Cue in: “Eyange eri private….

Cue out…ng'ozekuba.”//

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