New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Land Evictions On Despite Museveni Directive

Less than a month since President Yoweri Museveni issued a stern warning against illegal land evictions, the vice seems to be escalating, especially in the central region. This week, a businessman, Robert Mulindwa, threatened to evict over 100 residents of Nangabo in Wakiso district.

According to residents, Mulindwa hired Price Company, a private firm, to survey the land without their consent. "We saw three people surveying our land. When we confronted them, they said the land had been sold. On Tuesday, excavators cleared a big part of the land," Muhammad Kizito, a resident, said.

The eviction prompted Wakiso district Woman MP Rosemary Sseninde to convene a meeting with the residents on Wednesday, where she halted the exercise.

In another incident Wakiso resident district commissioner Dan Kaguta arrested a businessman, John Akampulira, who wanted to evict several families in Kyasa village, Kakiri sub-county.

Last week, over 27 people with disabilities,operating in Wandegeya, survived eviction. The operation, led by Kampala Metropolitan operations commander, Sam Omala, was halted after it became bloody. The group, under their umbrella body, Abalema United Efforts Association, claim that the land was given to them by President Yoweri Museveni in 2005.

Last month, the President named a committee, headed by minister Idah Nantaba, which will fight illegal land evictions. Sseninde is also a member.

When Saturday Vision asked Sseninde why her committee had not executed its mandate, she said it had not officially started working. Sseninde confirmed that there is an increase in land evictions, but blamed the problem on courts, which she said favour rich people.

"Court officials have failed to implement the President's directive. They make decisions in favour of the rich. That is why rich men do not fear criminal prosecution," she said.

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