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65-Year- Old Pins Businessman Over Brutal Eviction

In her testimony on Monday afternoon, Kigozi, a resident of Kirangira Zone A in Mukono Central Division in Mukono district, said on January 22nd, 2018, two police pick-ups carrying officers raided her home on Banobas directives claiming that she had failed to compensate the businessman with Shillings 30 million as damages for trespassing on his land.
An elderly woman has pinned businessman, Dick Kihangire Banoba of evicting them brutally from their land. The 65-year-old Mary Kigozi was testifying before the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Land Commission on their eviction from a 488-acre piece of land in Mukono district.

The Commission is investigating circumstances, under which Banoba evicted over 30 families from the contested land in Nama Sub County in Mukono District. The investigations stem from two complaints against businessman, Banoba.

One of the complaints was filed by the family of the late Ham Mukasa and another evictee questioning Banoba's title and wrongful eviction from their land. According to the Commission Lead Counsel, Ebert Byenkya, Banoba claims that he bought the land from Dr. Emmanuel Lumu, Uganda's first Health Minister.

 

Byenkya noted that the Commission is investigating the issue of double ownership of the contested title by Banoba and the family of the late Ham Mukasa. In her testimony on Monday afternoon, Kigozi, a resident of Kirangira Zone A in Mukono Central Division in Mukono district, said on January 22nd, 2018, two police pick-ups carrying officers raided her home on Banoba's directives claiming that she had failed to compensate the businessman with Shillings 30 million as damages for trespassing on his land.

She explained that that the police officers disrespectfully arrested her. She identified one of the policemen as Patrick Mulwana, saying the other two were casually dressed. Kigozi was arrested and detained in civil prison in Mukono as a debtor. She was released January 31st, 2018 on the orders of Mukono Chief Magistrate, Sarah Mponye.

Her release followed pleas by her children to the magistrate she was a victim of hypertension. The magistrate ordered that Kigozi released and the money cleared when she is outside prison.

Earlier in 1994, Banoba had instituted charges of trespass against occupants on the contested land in the Mukono Chief Magistrate's court. The court ordered the occupants to compensate him Shillings 30 million in damages. Court also ordered the eviction of the occupants.

Kigozi, who says they had appealed the ruling, said they were surprised by the eviction and destruction of their property. Kigozi told the Commission that her crops were destroyed and that it was by God's grace that her house was not demolished like others. 

She adds that at the time of her arrest, she didn't know the charges brought against her. When asked if she understood the ruling what was involved in the court ruling they appealed against, Kigozi said no.

Kigozi says she settled on the land in 1972 after getting married to her late husband, Constantine Kigozi. The late had acquired an acre of land from a one Jingo. Another 1.5 acres of land was acquired by the same family in 1980 from Tom Mulwana.