Busamba land row: Anger as surveyor razes gardens

A resident shows part of his plantation  that was destroyed during the making of roads on the contested land in Wakiso District at the weekend. PHOTO/ BUSEIN SAMILU

What you need to know:

  • Multiple affected residents who spoke to this publication said the situation will turn violent if the concerned authorities do not intervene.

A section of residents living on the disputed 1,044-acre land in Wakiso District have appealed to President Museveni to intervene and prevent them from being harassed by a dealer.

The residents in the three villages of Busamba, Kinyika-Gayaza, and Ngondwe-Kanziro accuse Ms Berna Nakato, who came on the land as a surveyor but later acquired 200 acres, of forcefully making roads through their gardens without their consent.

A result, they said, she has destroyed their gardens of coffee, bananas, maize, mangoes, jackfruit and oranges.

“They came with sticks and forcefully started measuring and later came back with a tractor and asked me to go for compensation of Shs50,000 at their office. These people are moving illegally without any lawful enforcer,” Mr Aaron Musisi, one of the affected residents, told the Daily Monitor on Saturday.

Mr Cosmas Kizito, another affected resident, said his gardens were destroyed when the land dealer created three roads through it without compensation.

“Ms Nakato promised to give me Shs2 million as compensation for my properties but to date I have never seen it. I am physically impaired and old. It is this coffee that has been taking care of my children’s school fees. Now I am here stuck,” he said.

Multiple affected residents who spoke to this publication said the situation will turn violent if the concerned authorities do not intervene.

“President Museveni, come out and help us. We have chosen to go a peaceful way but this does not mean that we can’t defend ourselves. If you can’t help us, give us permission to defend ourselves,” they said.

When contacted at the weekend, Ms Nakato admitted creating the new roads through people’s land but denied doing it forcefully. She said the affected residents fully consented and she fully compensated them.

She instead branded the complainants as masqueraders who live in the other villages but not Ngondwe where the project is ongoing.

“I am the owner of that land, what I am doing now is to negotiate with the Bibanja holders a win-win solution and we are sharing 50 percent equally and I process the titles for them,” Ms Nakato said.

“At the ministry of Lands you cannot process a title without having clear roads and that is what I am doing,” she added. 

Ms Nakato was brought on the land last year by some grandchildren of the late Gabudyeri Lubajja as a surveyor and later gave her part of it. This led to the family battle where one faction led by Ms Josephine Mpamulungi and Ms Teddy Namusoke dragged to court their counterparts led by Mr Richard Semitala and Mr Eustarous Ssegantebuka whom they accuse of allegedly obtaining letters of administration .

Mr Mathias Mulumba Segantebuka, who is from a faction that dragged Mr Semitala to court and has been fighting alongside locals, said whatever Ms Nakato is doing is a waste of time.

“All she wants to allege is that she is a bona fide purchaser for value without notice but the people who have an equitable interest in the land that she illegally got are protesting how she got it without them being given an option of buying the reversionary interest of the said land,” he said.