UPDF officer accused of land grabbing

What you need to know:

  • Col Lutaaya, who appeared at the disputed land yesterday, declined to speak to Monitor.

The family of the late Sheikh Muhammed Bukenya in Makindye –Kelezia Zone Kampala, has accused a UPDF officer, Col Dick Lutaaya, of using soldiers and police to grab their land, which they have occupied for the last 30 years.

The disputed land is on Namasole Road, Kelezia Zone-Makindye Division.

Ms Mariam Nakajubi, the widow, alleged that Col Lutaaya used armed soldiers and police officers to demolished a washing bay before fencing off the land with iron sheets last week. The land is currently guarded.

“My husband bought this land in 1990. Since then, we had never heard anyone claiming its ownership. In 2009, Col Lutaaya approached us to sell him part of our land, which we refused,” Ms Nakajubi said.

“But since he has support from the UPDF and police, he has decided to take the land forcefully, he demolished the washing bay of my five years’ tenant in the wee hours of Thursday last week and also warned us against trespassing on the land, threatening to shoot at us,” she added.

U-turn

In the letter seen by this publication, the same matter had earlier been reported to State House Directorate of Lands in 2016, with Col Lutaaya denying having any interests in it. However, Bukenya’s family said they were shocked when Col Lutaaya made a U-turn and claimed it.

Mr Ahmed Matovu, Ms Nakajubi’s son, said the land was their main source of income since their father’s death.

Mr Matovu said when they appealed to the village chairperson, Mr Chrysostom Wakayamba,  he ignored them, saying Col Lutaaya was the owner.

“The chairman also witnessed the armed eviction last week and he never intervened,” he said.
However, Mr Wakayamba said the land belongs to Col Lutaaya.

“So those claiming that their land was grabbed should go to court and seek justice,” he said.
When asked how he verified Col Lutaaya’s ownership of the land, Mr Wakayamba hang up.

Col Lutaaya, who appeared at the disputed land yesterday, declined to speak to us. Efforts to get a comment from his family were futile as guards blocked us from accessing the fenced premises.

The Katwe district police commander, Mr David Kamugira, denied deploying officers during the eviction.
“I don’t know about the eviction you are talking about and I did not make any deployment to evict people in Makindye. I am not authorised to talk to the media about such issues,” he said.

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