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Luweero Residents Want Land Evictions Stopped

The leaders and residents have asked the President to act tough in 2019 and ensure laws are respected. They also appealed to Museveni to stop the Police from escorting landlords to evict tenants.
01 Jan 2019 12:27
File Photo; Police Officers clearing road connecting to Kikyusa town which were blocked in land protests

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Local leaders and residents in Luweero say 2018 was a year of escalated land evictions and grabbing which caused suffering to hundreds of people in the district.  

The most affected tenants were from sub-counties of Kalagala, Kikyusa, Kamira, Makulubita, Zirobwe and Butuntumula Sub County among others.

In September National Forestry Authority (NFA) ordered 528 people occupying part of the 1,208 hectares of land belonging to Mbaale Central forest reserve to vacate.

Stanley Kibalama says that the actions of NFA were unfair. He explains that several people lost their property and arrested people who had defied the directive.

Jimmy Tamale another affected tenant says they inherited the land from grandparents who settled on the land in 1915.

Although the tenants have defied the order up to date, they are still in panic since NFA has insisted that they must vacate the land to pave way for tree planting.

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Cue out;…..amateeka gekola”//.

John Paul Kibalama the LC 3 Chairperson of Butuntumula sub county says that other residents have been evicted by landlords without compensation while others have lost huge chunks of land in unfair land sharing deals.

Kibalama says that several people are facing hunger after evictions and land grabbing in the sub-county.

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Cue out;…be Butuntumula”//.

Another land wrangle involved Pakistan and Indian investors over ownership of 54 hectares of land in Luweero district. The clashes left scores of both sides nursing injuries. 

In Kikyusa Sub County, over 50 tenants were arrested and detained at several police stations on charges of trespass.

Abubaker Ssematimba the LC 3 Chairperson of Kikyusa sub county says that the tenants were arrested after they protested against malicious damage of their crop fields and defying eviction.

He says that Police officers in Luweero have been bribed by landlords to arrest and compel tenants to abandon their pieces of land.

Some of tenants who were arrested for trespassing are crying out for help.

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Cue out;…obwogerero”//.

Paul Kangave the Savannah Regional Police Spokesperson said he was away and needed time to comment on accusations against the force.

Other residents at Kiwanguzi, Kyakatula, Wabusana, Kirimandangi and Kyampogola among other villages are living in fear over eviction orders.

Daniel Sserubidde the LC 3 Chairman of Kalagala sub county says that in most cases the tenants' rights have not been respected resulting into violence.

Sserubidde says that there is need for landlords to respect land laws and rights if the conflicts are to stop.

Every week, scores of people report cases of land grabbing at office of Resident District Commissioner seeking for halt of evictions in vain.

The leaders and residents want the President to act tough in 2019 and ensure laws are respected. They also appealed to Museveni to stop the Police from escorting landlords to evict tenants.

Ronald Ndawula, the Luweero District LC5 Chairperson also asked President Museveni to take tough against government officials named in land grabbing and eviction of tenants in the district.

Recently the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Betty Among said that her ministry is planning to come up with guidelines on land evictions in 2019.



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