Businessman Alam disregards directive, continues evictions

Wednesday October 9 2019

Desperate. Some of the stranded residents of

Desperate. Some of the stranded residents of Bukompe Village who were evicted from the disputed land on September 10. PHOTO BY JESSICA NABUKENYA 

By BY JESSICA NABUKENYA & RICHARD KYANJO

On September 27, Lands minister, Betty Amongi, wrote to security agencies asking them to stop any further evictions on Block 308 Plots 122,85,94 and 143 at Bukompe Village until investigations into the ownership of the land are completed.
“…the purpose of this communication therefore is twofold; to direct you to stop land evictions and torture of the occupants with immediate effect on the land [Block 308 Plots 122,85,94 and 143] as we conclude investigations in this matter,” the minister’s statement reads in part.
The land dispute pits Mr Alam, who claims to be the rightful owner of the land, against more than 1,000 sitting tenants. The disputed land measures 19 square miles and Mr Alam has already set up a sugar plantation on a section of it.
Mr Dianna Nannyanzi, a woman councillor representing Myanzi Sub-county, said the minister’s directive has not restored sanity because residents continue to suffer at the hands of private armed guards deployed on the land.
“I call upon President Museveni to intervene. Although we need investors, they should not displace locals to carry out investments,’’ she said yesterday.
Mr Peterson Kamulegeya, the chairperson of Nalutuntu Sub-county, said the land dispute has persisted for long and a lasting solution needs to be sought.
The standoff between residents and Mr Alam at the weekend turned ugly as one person was attacked.
Mr Ernest Bizimungu, the victim was reportedly attacked by a group of men, suspected to be casual labourers of Mr Alam.
The Kassanda South Member of Parliament, Mr Simeo Nsubuga, said: “He [Bizimungu] was allegedly attacked, beaten and sustained severe injuries. The matter was reported to police.”
When contacted, Mr Alam declined to comment on the fresh evictions, insisting the matter is before President Museveni.
“I am going to meet the President, call me later,” he said.
Background
In 2017, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire led-Land Commission of Inquiry into land matters ordered residents to stay on the land until investigations into the complaints of violent evictions are concluded, but the directive was violated.
This order came after Mr Alam was quizzed over the 2006-2008 violent evictions.
The Commission said Mr Alam, who was arrested and released on police bond in November 2017, is under investigations for possible prosecution on accusations of murder, assault, grievous harm, inciting violence, disobeying lawful orders and unlawful destruction of property.

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