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.
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.”//
“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.”//
“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
//Cue in: “Ente yange yasimattuka …
Cue out: … nazo njagala kutunda.”//
“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.”
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.”//
“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.”//
“I promise you that we shall come back with the
rest of the leaders together with the landlord because hearing from the leaders
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.