Relatives accuse police spokesperson of torture

Thursday October 17 2019

Quizzed. Police spokesperson Fred Enanga

Quizzed. Police spokesperson Fred Enanga (right) consults with his lawyer, Mr Wakiri Nasul, while appearing before the probe committee on land matters in Kampala, on Tuesday. PHOTO BY DAVID LUBOWA.  

By TOM MALABA

The Commission of Inquiry into land matters yesterday tasked the police spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga, to explain why he allegedly used his position in police to influence the surveying of the disputed three square miles of land in Oreta Village, Amun parish, Akokoro Sub-county in Apac District.

While appearing before the land probe commission chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, Mr Enanga was also queried over allegations that he used police to arrest, torture and imprison his relatives in a bid to force them off the land.

Mr Enanga together with his father, Mr George Echonga, a retired senior police officer, were last week dragged to the land probe committee by their family member, Mr Naphtali Enanga, accusing them of grabbing eight square miles of land covering four parishes. The land is occupied by 1,740 households.

“Mr Enanga, your name is coming up severally where you are being accused of using your position in police to harass people on the said land,” the Commission lead counsel, Mr Ebert Byenkya, said.

Enanga denies charges
However, Mr Enanga denied having involved police in the harassment of people.

He instead accused the petitioner, Mr Naphtali Enanga, of calling for police’s deployment to keep guard as Digi maps, a private firm contracted to survey the land, was carrying out the survey.
“My Lord, this is not conclusive, it is not me as an individual,” Mr Enanga said, adding that some of the allegations were attempts to victimise him.

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Mr Naphtali Enanga petitioned the Commission last week requesting that they stop Mr Fred Enanga and his father from taking over their land.
Responding to accusations that he had caused the arrest of his auntie, Lilian Adwedo, Mr Fred Enanga said she was arrested on different charges.

“She was arrested for assaulting her older sister, who the family had entrusted with keeping the family house in the village,” he said.
In regard to accusations of having used police to disperse a clan meeting called to resolve the land dispute, Mr Enanga said the same accusations came up in July 2018.

“That same matter was investigated and found to be untrue. We did not influence anything or anyone,” Mr Fred Enanga insisted.
He said no police officer could take unlawful orders.
On accusations that they sold the land, Mr Fred Enanga clarified that the family had never sold any land to anyone.

“We are trying to achieve our grandfather, Enosi Okabo’s dream to set up Awilodyang mixed farm on the three-square mile piece of land,” he said.
Mr Fred Enanga is co-partner with his father on Awilodyang mixed farm.

The police spokesperson accused his relatives of selling part of the land they inherited from their grandfather.
He wondered why the people were contesting his father’s ownership of land and not the land occupied by his uncles.

According to him, his uncles; Johnson Angalla got 140 acres, Benjamin Enanga got three square miles, while his grandfather, Naphtali Enanga, got four square miles and were living peacefully on their land.

He said in 1977, when his father first applied for a title on the contested land, he was allocated 10 square miles piece of land but he abandoned the idea in 2018 and only applied for three square miles.
“We wanted to secure the entire piece of land but when our uncles and grandfather refused, we decided to apply for only his father’s three square-mile piece of land,” Mr Fred Enanga told commissioners.

The police chief called on the commission to dig into the history of the land to determine the ownership of the land to enable the family embark on the mixed farm project without disruptions.

Background

Denied claims. Appearing before the same committtee earlier, Mr George Echonga dismissed as untrue allegations that he evicted his relatives off the land with a view of grabbing it. He told the land probe that he would not compensate people on the contested land because they settled on it illegally.

tmalaba@ug.nationmedia.com

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