Mukono — Chaos reigned as live bullets were fired by police to disperse residents of Kirangira-Lwanyonyi village, in Mukono District who attacked court brokers and destroyed the property of the landlord.
The court brokers were Monday trying to the residents from a piece of land owned by Mr Dick Banoba.
Led by a one Andrew Kiwanuka, the residents resisted the action of court brokers who went to the area to continue with eviction process which was recently stopped by Ms Persis Namuganza, the State Minister for Lands.
The fuming residents destroyed maize, bananas gardens among other property belonging to Mr Banoba, saying he is breaking the law by evicting them.
Last week, Ms Namuganza ordered the arrest of about 80 people who were hired by court brokers to evict over 400 people from the land.
Ms Namugaza blamed the District Police Commander, Mr Henry Abaho and the Resident District Commissioner, Mr Naser Munulo for clearing a court order to evict people from a 200-acre piece of land without verifying.
"You have brought insecurity in Mukono because you are just looking on as armed goons occupy and take over land," Ms Namuganza told the two officials in a meeting.
She said security officers and other government officials should resist from implementing court orders to evict people from land because such activities will "mess up" the country.
She said the disputed land should be surveyed to identify the right owner because there are several people who claim owning it.
Mr Banoba secured the eviction order from Mukono Chief Magistrates Court.
Mr Banoba said he bought the land in 1971 from Dr Emmanuel Lumu and registered it in 1973.
He says he has been battling in court with a group of squatters for over 30 years.
Mr Banoba said that by the time he bought the land, about 30 people illegally lived on it.
"I wanted to discuss with these people on my land to get a way forward but they rejected to come for meetings. Actually, I am a resident of Lwanyonyi and I have a farm here but these people have never bothered to approach me. The only thing they do is to threaten me," Mr Banoba said.
He said some of them have been illegally selling plots to other people.
"I have been discussing with residents who lived on the land. A few accepted to vacate while others refused," he said.
The local council chairman, Mr Deo Golooba, however, said the residents were not notified and most of them were not at home by the time the men who were hired by court brokers descended on their houses.
"I was shocked to see men armed with sticks, axes and other weapons knocking doors and windows from people's houses," he said.