Masaka. More than 100 households in Birongo and Mulema villages in Kyesiiga Sub-county, Masaka District are facing land eviction.
Led by the sub-county council speaker, Mr Mudasiru Bbaale, the victims last weekend stormed the office of the Masaka Resident District Commissioner, Mr Joe Walusimbi, seeking for his intervention.
Mr Walusimbi who was flanked by his deputy Joseph Ssekasamba, said he would visit the disputed land to ascertain its true owners.
“Don’t think that storming my office in big numbers is a passport to save you from eviction. We have on several occasions been hoodwinked by people like you claiming that they were legal tenants when actually they encroached on someone’s land illegally,” Mr Walusimbi said.
This followed a night prolonged shootout in the air last week as police raided the villages in an attempt to arrest six people who allegedly vandalised a fence put around the said land by a one Florence Nakyanzi, who claims to be the landlady.
Whereas Ms Nakyanzi insists that she owns the land and possesses the land title, the tenants claim they have nowhere to go because their grand and great grandparents grew up and were buried on that very land, which they inherited.
In October last year, Ms Nakyanzi tried to fence off the land but residents resisted the move and destroyed the materials for the fence.
Three months later, police from Masaka rushed to the area and attempted to arrest those who were suspected of leading a mob that burnt the materials but locals mobilised themselves, a move that prompted police to shoot in the air to disperse the rowdy residents.
“You should go back and settle in your houses because nobody will arrest you, but you should all prepare your documents showing how you settled on that land,” Mr Walusimbi said.
“Whoever will fail to present supporting documents on how they settled on the said land, they would have no alternative but to quit,” he added.
He challenged the area politicians to stop misleading residents adding that no one will defend illegal owners. However, an 87-year-old Josephine Namwanje wondered where she would get the evidence of ownership for the land where she claims her great grandparents lived and were buried.
“I have been here with my family for all my life. Where shall we get the evidence of ownership, which the RDC is talking about?” Namwanje wondered.
An 87-year-old Josephine Namwanje wondered where she would get the evidence of ownership for the land where she claims her great grandparents lived and were buried.