What you need to know:
- The locals who raided Mr Baguma’s home on Wednesday evening, also left many other cows with injuries and burnt four houses. They are accusing the pastor of grabbing their land measuring about 300 acres.
Police in Kikuube District are investigating circumstances under which angry residents of Bwera village in Kyangwali Sub County, killed 40 cows and burnt four houses belonging to Pastor George Baguma of Bwera Miracle Church over land wrangles.
The locals who raided Mr Baguma’s home on Wednesday evening, also left many other cows with injuries and burnt four houses. They are accusing the pastor of grabbing their land measuring about 300 acres.
The land dispute has been ongoing since last year as the residents accused Mr Baguma of trying to grab their ancestral land, which they have occupied for years.
Mr Amlan Tumusiime, the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner, said violence followed the arrest of five residents by the State House Land Protection Unit on Wednesday.
He added that the Unit officials stormed the area in the company of Mr Baguma and picked up the residents opposed to his schemes.
“The arrests followed a petition filed by Mr Baguma demanding the eviction of the residents from the disputed land. Residents first blocked the road for hours to stop the State House Land Protection Unit officials from taking their colleagues prompting them to fire live bullets in the air to disperse them,” Mr Tumusiime said.
However, the angry residents regrouped when the state house officials left and raided Mr Baguma’s farm, where they hacked 40 cows to death.
Mr Baguma insists that he legally acquired the contested land and processed a land title. He accuses the residents of encroaching on his land.
Mr James Kyomuhendo, one of the residents, accuses Mr Baguma of using the police and soldiers to forcefully grab their land. His claims could however not be independently verified.
Pastor Baguma said that the land belongs to him and he got it through lawful channels.
Mr Julius Hakiza, the Albertine regional police spokesperson, said that police have commenced investigations into the massive destruction of Mr Baguma’s farm and the slaughter of his animals.