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Residents Accuse LC 1 Chairperson, Town Council Boss of Shielding Landlord Evicting them

Joseph Mwanje, 67, one of those on the verge of eviction, says that their pleas to Ssenkubuge to present the landlord has been futile, adding that he only becomes angry whenever their raise the matter.
Some of the residents of Siriba landing site, Buvuma Town Council in a meeting with the area Member of Parliament, Robert Migadde Ndugwa.

Audio 5

Over 1000 residents of Siriba landing site in Buvuma Town Council in Buvuma district are spending sleepiness nights for fear of eviction from their homes by their new landlord, Anthony Kintu.

 

The residents are even more worried that the landlord who acquired the land they are occupying two years back is only known to the village chairperson, Godfrey Ssenkubuge and the town council LC III Chairperson, Sebastian Okware.   

Joseph Mwanje, 67, one of those on the verge of eviction, says that their pleas to Ssenkubuge to present the landlord has been futile, adding that he only becomes angry whenever their raise the matter. 

Speaking at a meeting convened by the Buvuma County Member of Parliament, Robert Migadde Ndugwa, Mwanje said that the majority of residents fear talking about the eviction threats in public for fear of being victimized by the village chairperson.

//Cue in: “Bwe bulumi abantu bwe …           

Cue out: … ludda lwa chairman.”//  

Translation    

“Residents are having silent pain because they are against the eviction but they fear to come out and express their concerns. So, our Member of Parliament help us and talk to the chairperson and have him change for the better of our well-being.”     

Charles Ongera, another resident says that Kintu has planted eucalyptus trees around the landing site covering even the area where the town council built a public toilet and sank a borehole. Ongera says that they are currently barred from accessing the two areas.

 

//Cue in: “Kati obuzibu bwe tulina …  

Cue out: … nina myaka nkaaga.”//

Translation

“We are not allowed to put up new structures even when one owns the plot of land. Because the landlord has planted trees surrounding the landing site up to the lake and we are not supposed to pass through the trees, then fishing, our main source of survival is also affected.”

 

Justine Babirye, who owns cattle says that due to the numerous fines imposed on her whenever her cows and goats stray into the eucalyptus trees, she has now started selling them off yet they are the ones that have been sustaining her family.

//Cue in: “Ente yange yasimattuka …  

Cue out: … nazo njagala kutunda.”//  

Translation  

“The landlord’s men got my cows in the eucalyptus and they demanded a fine of UGX100,000. I pleaded and paid UGX60,000. The following day they got one of my goats there and I also had to pay for it. I have now sold some of the cows and I am also going to dispose of the goats too.”

But the Village chairperson, Godfrey Ssenkubuge, says that the residents are being misled by a clique of people with a hidden agenda. He says the landlord has never expressed intentions of evicting the residents, arguing that he and the LC chairperson are also residents of the same area.  

//Cue in: “Naye nze abatuuze …   

Cue out: … kubasengula babatwala wa.”//

Translation

“Myself, the village chairperson and the LC III we are as well residents on the landing site. Then how can we again be behind the person who is also going to evict all of us? Residents stop wasting time on baseless rumours.”       

Shakul Kibalama, whom the leaders are accusing of misleading the rest of the residents also counter accuses the leaders of shielding the landlord, who has done a lot of things recent indicating that they don’t have any future at the landing site.

He cites the planting of trees around the landing site close to people’s homes arguing that when they mature, they may become a threat to the residents. Buvuma County Member of Parliament, Robert Migadde Ndugwa asked the residents to calm down and promised to speak to the district leadership over the matter.  

//Cue in: “Nze njagala obbagumya …    

Cue out: … aba afuuse mulimi.”//  

Translation  

“I promise you that we shall come back with the rest of the leaders together with the landlord because hearing from the leaders alone will not calm down your fears.”  

Wilson Nsereko, the representative of the landlord, said that they are considering meeting the residents very soon. Buvuma district has been marred into a number of land wrangles ever since the Ministry of Agriculture introduced palm oil growing in the islands.

Some of the wrangles involve residents and workers of Vegetable Oil Development Project II whereas others are between tenants and their landlords who had been absent for so many years. The landlords accuse the tenants of illegally occupying their land.