Residents of Kitiko-Birongo in Wakiso District have protested the continued deployment of police on their land in Kajjansi-Mutungo on the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway.
The security personnel are said to have been deployed in July last year after brutally beating up residents to evict them from the disputed 154-acre piece of land. It has since been sealed off.
Recently, the locals appealed to President Museveni to intervene in the matter.
In a February 12 letter to the President, the residents accused police of aiding a Kampala businessman, Mr Jamada Musisi, to forcefully takeover the land worth Shs30.8b.
The residents claim the deployment has made it impossible for them to access the land for any activity.
Mr Muhammad Ssewaya, who claims he inherited the disputed land from his father, said he has been jailed several times for protesting the eviction.
“My siblings advised me to give up on that land, saying it would cost me my life but I can’t. I have been jailed over 27 times since that land row begun,” Mr Ssewaya told Daily Monitor yesterday.
Ms Gladys Nalumansi, a mother of seven, said she is now homeless and struggling to survive after her house was destroyed.
“I have spent 40 years on this land after my parents died. I have lived on the one-and-half acres all my life. I have no other place to go or call home,” Ms Nalumansi said.
Mr Emmanuel Ssendawula, 35, another resident, said he is now staying with his sister after his house and crops were destroyed.
“I bought this land on the watch of Mr [Sam] Lutwama, who was the LCI chairperson then. Shortly after I shifted and started life here, security was heavily deployed. At first I thought matters would get better but things have now worsened,” Mr Ssendawula said.
Mr Lutwama acknowledged the land belonged to the residents before Mr Musisi escalated the situation.
“It all started as simple land row and I hoped things would be settled but it eventually escalated and ended up in court,” Mr Lutwama said.
The deputy police spokesperson for Kampala metropolitan area, Mr Luke Owoyesigyire , advised the affected residents to formally file their complaint for further action.
“If they are being assaulted by the officers, they should complain at the Professional Standards Unit and we investigate the matter as to why the security is tough on them or not,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.
Lands ministry say
The State Minister for Lands, Ms Persis Namuganza, recently said she had been following the wrangle after the President directed her to intervene. She said the ministry conducted a survey and found out that the land Mr musisi claims is on Block 537 in Busiro yet the disputed land is on Block 270 in Kyadondo.She said government was in the process of cancelling Mr Musisi’s title. However, Mr Musisi still claims ownership of the land.