Lands, housing and urban development minister Judith Nabakooba has ordered for the immediate arrest of land grabbers and Kanyamas terrorizing people in Busiika Town Council and Zirobwe Sub county in Luweero District.
The minister in a meeting with locals at Mpigi Cell, Busoke Parish, Busiika Town Council in Luweero District on May 26 directed Mr Bwaabye Ntulume the Resident District Commissioner to arrest Mr Moses Kakembo, who grabbed church land and chased Ms Joweria Nabukenya from her seven acre Kibanja.
This was after Mr Fenekansi Lule, the Mpigi village chairperson explained to the meeting how Kakembo is terrorizing the village, grabbing people’s land using the Anglican church leadership he acquired in 2019.
Mr Lule explained that Kakembo came as a leader in charge of land at the church but however tarnished the church’s name using his position to grab people’s land.
“He can wake up in the morning and fence off someone’s Kibanja without their knowledge. Our Namumira Church of Uganda initially had 90 acres but as I speak, it remained with three or four. We sought for assistance from Busiika police several times when my redidents’ land was being grabbed but no one helped us,” he said.
The chairperson further revealed that the same person (Kakembo) destroyed two cassava and sweet potato plantations of 75-year-old Juliana Katusabe, 75, but no compensations were done.
The minister asked the church to do boundary opening to determine the size of their land. She implored them to do the exercise with collaboration from the RDC and District Surveyors.
This she said will help them mark the size of the church land and identify the rightful occupants plus the size of their Bibanja.
“Let Kakembo be arrested and If Nabukenya is the rightful occupant, let her go back and use her Kibanja. I encourage alI locals to cooperate to ensure that we fight these land grabbers. I am wondering how a thief can come and take up someone’s land when we have leaders in our areas,” she said.
The minister also resolved that people at Manyama village, Zirobwe Sub County whose crops were destroyed by a one Ngambwa Ruta who had bought the land go back on their Bibanja and plant crops.
“Let Ms Proscovia Yiga, who got shs5m on her phone from Ruta, return the money and her Kibanja given back. Ms Rehema Mutesi, a mother of seven whose cow was stolen and door of her house removed go back to her home and Ruta must make sure he pays back the cow in addition to fixing her door,” she directed.
In her analysis at Manyama, the minister discovered that the matter is a family dispute as people are grumbling over ownership issues and have brought the Bibanja people on board because each side has tenants who support it. She noted that in the process of establishing the rightful owner of the land, they have forgot that Bibanja holders are known in the constitution. “Everyone is now is on tension and you find that people go into agreement and sell their Bibanja without the leaders knowing and later claim to have been coerced. Many others are going to come up claiming the same, that is why I have resolved to put in place a team composed of the State House Anti-corruption Unit, Land Registration under the Ministry, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) and the local leaders because this is a matter I cannot resolve in one day,” she said
Nabakooba said this team is going to look at case by case, Kibanja by Kibanja, make an analysis and report that will ensure the case gets viable recommendations for a logical conclusion.
“However, the ‘Kifeesi’ who are coming to terrorize people must be arrested by the police. The RDC is the Chief Security officer in the district and as the representative of the president, he must make sure that people are protected in an area because security is the number one priority regardless of the dispute. We don’t want a dispute to turn into a security threat. The RDC must come on ground, deploy and arrest whoever has been involved in terrorizing the people.”
The minister also said that all cases that were reported by the community must be investigated upto the logical conclusion, taken to the Resident States Attorney, files sanctioned and those people appear before courts of law.
“Let justice prevail because if this doesn’t happen, people will lose confidence in their government.”
Mr Ntulume Bwaabye, Luweero RDC applauded the Minister for sparing some time to intervene in the land issues.
He said for the time he has spent in Luweero, he has received different cases of land wrangles, land owners taking up half of the Bibanja from tenants claiming to be the owners of the land and trespassing cases imposed on tenants with the aim of taking away their land.
Rev George William Ssejjobyo, Mpigi Parish Reverand resolved to register all tenants on the Church land, those staying there and those who don’t determining the size of the Bibanja for each occupant, establishing how those people acquired their tenancy, formation of illegal tenancy in accordance with the law.
“Our aim is not to evict you from the land but to see how you will stay on our land. We are going to come to a compromise. If we call upon you, respond, bring all your documents to ease my work” he said.