Court of Appeal Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, who has led the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters for the past two years, is living in fear following a suspected attack on her home in Buziga, Kampala, on the night of May 24.
Information available to Sunday Monitor shows that people travelling on a motorcycle pulled up outside the judge’s home in the wee hours of the night, prompting the dogs to bark and the sensor lights to come to life.
At this moment, this newspaper has been told, the police guards at the home cocked their guns, prompting the people on the motorcycle to speed off.
“It is true, it happened between 2am and 4am on May 24. Police at my home cocked guns and I think that stopped them,” Justice Bamugemereire told Sunday Monitor.
The matter, Justice Bamugemereire’s handlers said, has been reported at Bunga Police Post. The police, however, insist that there was no attack on the judge’s home.
Mr Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, said: “The home of Hon Justice Bamugemereire was not attacked. We are not investigating any case in that regard. What we have is that there was a vehicle which had a mechanical problem near home but the owners repaired the vehicle and they drove away that very night. As territorial police we are not aware of any attack at the home of the Judge.”
Dr Douglas Singiza, the secretary to the Commission, said: “It is true an incident happened at the home of Dr (husband) and Honourable Justice Bamugemereire between 2am and 4am on May 24. The police guards cocked their guns. I am informed the dogs barked and alerted the police who repulsed the attack. The intruders came on a boda boda but were swiftly overwhelmed.”
Justice Bamugemereire, during a visit to Monitor Publications Ltd last month, spoke about the pressures under which she and the other members of the commission work, saying they had received threats as they went about their work. She was in the company of other members of the Commission.
The Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters has courted controversy over the period it has been in place, getting into arguments with a number of institutions, including the Judiciary, over court decisions on land matters which the commission disputes.
The commission also had a public spat with Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana over compensations concerning land in Mutungo, Kampala. In addition to investigating matters of land policy and issues involving public management of land, the commission has also handled numerous land wrangles involving individuals, grilling and detaining a number of individuals.
Currently, the commission is investigating the grabbing of Kayunga Forest Reserve land, in which it is said that over 2,000 acres of the 10,000 acres in question was grabbed.
Before chairing the commission of inquiry into land matters, Justice Bamugemereire had chaired the commission that inquired into allegations levelled against Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago by Kampala Capital City Authority councillors, which ended in the controversial censure of the Lord Mayor in 2013.