Bodies exhumed as fight for Kayunga cemetery land deepens

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KAYUNGA. Buganda Kingdom officials and Kayunga Town Council authorities are embroiled in a fight over a piece of land the latter has been using as a public cemetery.
The fight has left an unknown number of unclaimed bodies dug and exposed. The three-acre piece of land located in Ntenjeru village, Kayunga Town Council, is a centre of contention between Mengo officials and the Town Council authorities, with the latter claiming that Mengo gave out the land to a private electricity transmission company, Megger Technical Services (MTS) Ltd without their knowledge.

The piece of land, according to the Kayunga Town Mayor, Mr Magid Nyanzi, has been used as a town council cemetery for more than 49 years with more than 100 unclaimed bodies buried there over the years. When this reporter visited the area last week, he found human bones littered all over the excavated land.
Trouble started last Friday when workers of MTS Ltd, a company that is constructing rural power lines under the rural electrification programme, in the district graded the controversial piece of land after Mr James Ssempigga, the Bugerere County chief together with Buganda Land Board officials, leased the land at undisclosed amount of money to the company.
As soon as the company finished grading the land, the town council authorities under the leadership of the town clerk, Ms Margaret Nansubuga, sent a team of workers, who fenced off the land.

Mr Nyanzi, who criticised Mengo for the act, said even though Mengo is the landlord, their (Kayunga Town council) rights as a Kibanja holder was violated. He said they are now stranded as they have nowhere to bury the unclaimed bodies.
When contacted, Mr James Ssempigga, Kabaka’s chief in charge of Bugerere County, said: “The land belongs to us, can the town council show you any documents that show they own it?”
However, Mr Nyanzi said they are planning to hold a meeting with Mengo officials to resolve the impasse
An official with MTS Ltd who preferred anonymity said the feud had paralyzed their operations and would resume work only after the disagreement has been resolved.

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