500 Masaka residents in panic as eviction in two villages looms

Some of the affected residents attending a meeting at Lubumba Village in Masaka District on Friday. Photo | Gertrude Mutyaba

What you need to know:

  • The residents in the villages of Lubumba and Kalambi insist they inherited the disputed land from their ancestors and that they have occupied it for ages.

At least 500 residents in two villages in Kyanamukaaka Sub County, Masaka District, have to look elsewhere to live after receiving an eviction notice from their landlords.

The residents in the villages of Lubumba and Kalambi insist they inherited the disputed land from their ancestors and that they have occupied it for ages.

READ: Masaka leaders to move district headquarters out of city centre

The landlords who claim ownership of the land include, Mr Nuludiini Byakatonda, Mr Vincent Mukiibi, and one Kasasa.

Residents also accuse workers on a farm of former Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi of torturing them.

 Mr Ssekandi possesses a land title on the contested piece of land where he rears cows, which residents claim graze in their gardens.

According to Mr Vianny Lwabukinga, the chairperson of Lubumba Village, he has already received an eviction notice from the purported landlords demanding residents to vacate the land.

“The people of Lubumba currently have sleepless nights because they are threatened with eviction. We are calling upon the authorities to come to our rescue,” Mr Lwabukinga said during a meeting at Lubumba Village on Friday 

Mr Antonio Muyunga, a councillor representing Kyanamukaaka Sub County at the district, told the meeting that they have gone to most of the offices seeking help, but they have not succeeded.

“We have grown up in this area knowing that the land belongs to the government, but we were surprised to hear that there are rich people with land titles for the same land,” he said.

Mr Cyrus Kalema, the Kyanamukaaka Sub County chairperson warned all those who claim to be owners of the land not to dare evict residents.

“We will not allow anybody to evict residents because the Land Act is clear about the landlord and tenant relationship,” he said.

Mr Oscar Mutebi, the private secretary for Mr Ssekandi dismissed reports that his bosses’ cows maraud in residents' gardens.

“We have never received any complaints about that, hope it is not politics at play,” Mr Mutebi said on phone.

Mr Mukiibi, who is one of the said landlords insists that the land belongs to him, but has no intention of evicting sitting tenants.

“I have a land title on the land, but I have never threatened anyone with eviction, but if they [residents] have decided to accuse me of torture, I am going to court and see where this will end,” Mr Mukiibi said by telephone.

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