What you need to know:
- Residents accuse Mr Ernest Biziire of illegally acquiring 30 acres of land and attempting to evict them .
Tension is brewing between residents of Butebi Village, Nakibanga Ward, Central Division in Mityana Municipality and a landlord over a land dispute.
Residents accuse Mr Ernest Biziire of illegally acquiring 30 acres of land and attempting to evict them .
In attempt to reclaim what they call their ancestral land, last week residents exhumed the body of Mr Biziire’s mother from the disputed land.
Residents claim Mr Biziire’s agents have on several occasions tortured them and some are nursing wounds in hospital.
Mr Herbert Wassajja, the chairperson of Butebi, said residents are living in fear and if the land dispute is not swiftly resolved, it may lead to insecurity and violence. Mr Wassajja said Evarino Nagawa, a resident, was killed last month under circumstances linked to the land dispute.
“Although police arrested one suspect, more needs to be done to resolve this matter before we lose more lives,” he said during an interview on Saturday
Following Nagawa’s death, unknown people destroyed Biziire’s home and plantations.
Mr Godfrey Musaazi, a resident, said they no longer sleep in their houses for fear of being arrested.
“He [Mr Biziire] uses police to violate their rights, break into their houses and arrest whoever is found inside,” he said.
When Daily Monitor visited the village at the weekend, residents were armed with machetes, hammers, clubs and axes to guard themselves from any attacks. They have since blocked all roads connecting to the village.
Ten residents are detained at Mityana Central Police Station in connection with the destruction of property at Mr Biziire’s farm.
Ms Rachel Kawala, the Wamala Regional police spokesperson, denied reports that police are siding with Mr Biziire to deprive residents of their land.
“Those people [residents] violently destroyed Mr Biziire’s property. As police, we are only arresting those who are suspected to have been involved in that act, not all residents as being portrayed,” she said. Ms Kawala said police have picked the remains of Mr Biziire’s mother and taken them to Mityana General Hospital mortuary as they devise ways of resolving the land dispute.
Mr Fred Wotonava, the chairperson of Central Division in Mityana Municipality, urged police and the Resident District Commissioner, to swiftly take action.
“The day [Tuesday] being proposed by police to look into that matter is far, tempers are high in the village and we need to sit now and get a solution to that problem,” Mr Wotonava said.
Mr Biziire declined to give details, saying he had already given his side of the story.
“You (journalists) stop calling me over that issue, I have nothing to add on the information you have already, go with that,” Mr Biziire said .