What you need to know:
- Petition. Your Excellency, we have in the past we have appealed to the Minister for Presidency to prevail over the misconduct of the Rukiga Resident District Commissioner in vain. We have also written a petition to the State House Anti-Corruption Unit but we have not got any response,” Family petition.
The family of a 90-year-old man in Rukiga District, Kigezi Sub-region, has petitioned President Museveni, accusing the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Fred Nayebare, of aiding the grabbing of their 18-acre land.
In the February 6 petition that was received by State House on February 7, Mzee Veleriano Kambamu Kibahingire and his family accuse Mr Nayebare of disobeying a court order that blocked his attempt to evict them from their land on September 28, 2023.
They claim the RDC plans to settle some Bibanja owners on the land comprising Block 44, Plot 159 in Nyamabaare Cell Rwenyangi Parish in Kamwezi Sub-county.
“Your Excellency, we have in the past we have appealed to the Minister for Presidency to prevail over the misconduct of the Rukiga Resident District Commissioner in vain. We have also written a petition to the State House Anti-Corruption Unit but we have not got any response,” the petition signed by Ms Mary Kibahigire on behalf of the family reads in part.
“We, therefore, appeal to you to prevail upon the Rukiga Resident District Commissioner so that the ownership of our land is determined through the due process of the law,” the petition adds.
Last month, Kabale Chief Magistrate Derrick Byamugisha set March 30 for mention of the case in which the affected family through their lawyers are seeking the arrest of RDC Nayebare and eight others over alleged contempt of court orders.
The same court set April 17 to deliver a ruling in which the RDC and his co-accused are seeking to appeal the interim order that was granted on the contested land in favour of the affected family members. According to court documents, Chief Magistrate Byamugisha on October 6, 2023, issued an interim order, restraining the RDC and his co-accused from trespassing on the said land until the main application is heard and determined.
But the lawyer of the affected family, Mr Collins Nuwagaba, said shortly after the court ruling, “the accused persons, working on the guidance of Rukiga Resident District Commissioner Fred Nayebare, trespassed on the land after which they filled an application, seeking leave of the chief magistrate’s court to appeal against the interim order before the Kabale High Court.”
“We have also filed another suit against them for contempt of court which will be for mention on March 20, before its hearing takes place,” he said.
Mr Godwin Kumwesiga, who represented the RDC and the co-accused in the magistrate’s court on January 24, said he will submit his paperwork before March 13 and be ready to receive the ruling on April 17.
In his court petition, Mr Kibahigire also stated that the accused persons destroyed his 3,000 tree poles worth Shs15m, 17 rolls of barbed wire valued at Shs2.5m and 83kgs of wire nails worth Shs498,000.
Mr Kibahigire asked court for a declaration that the defendants trespassed on the suit land, an order of permanent injunction against the defendants and their agents and also prayed for special and general damages from court.
When contacted on Friday, RDC Nayebare said his office will not be intimidated by court cases or presidential petitions.
“Everybody in Rukiga District knows that the Kabahigire family members are using their rich status to grab people’s land,” he claimed.
“Different arms of the government are investigating this family and very soon they will be arrested and charged accordingly,” Mr Nayebare added.