Lusanja eviction: Where was the missing link?

The past weeks has had TV screens, radio stations and newspapers awash with news of the demolitions and eviction of more than 350 homesteads in Lusanja, Wakiso District.

The victims have wailed and groaned in pain, stretching their hands to anyone who would care to help them.
However, their outcries seemed to have fallen on the deaf ears of leaders, especially from the constituency, where destruction happened?
Yes, State minister for Primary Education Rosemary Seninde, the Wakiso Woman Member of Parliament tried to address this matter.
A meeting with landlords in Lusanja and Mr Medard Kiconco, did not yield much fruit despite the direct involvement of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM). Later, a committee was put in place to look into the matter.
Seninde together with state minister for Lands Persis Namuganza later petitioned Justice Catherine Bamugemerei, the chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters in Uganda. And a letter was written to Kiconco about the same.

So how did this end at erasing homes of more than 1,000 people by the security personnel, including soldiers and the police.
I would like to put it that this does not bring to an end the unresolved matters in the past. In November 2013, before Kira Municipality was carved out of Kyadondo East Constituency, the then area MP Ibrahim Semmujju Nganda and minister Seninde again had to raise their fists against the National Housing Cooperation in Kasoko when a similar incident happened.
Both Kasokoso and Lusanja share some things in common.

Residents in both areas are low income earners. Besides, the areas are densely populated and many of the residents earn a living through doing odd jobs. While many people in Kasokoso work in the stone quarries, those of Lusanja engage in plastics collection.
In the Kasokoso case, the struggle was led by their MPs Semujju and Seninde at the risk of the latter suffering backlash from her NRM party. The two MP rose up in arms against National Housing Corporation, and their efforts seem to have rescued Kasokoso residents.
But in the case of Lusanja, the situation is a bit more complex, the reason the residents were crudely evicted.
Therefore, whichever side of the argument one takes - whether the Lusanja violent were legal or not - the poor resident of Lusanjja seem to have been abandoned more or less to their own fate. Many residents of the area are now homeless and there are no clear relocation plan for them in sight. Many of the residents are engaged in picking whatever item they could lay their hands on in the nearby KCCA dumping site at Kiteezi.
The very least that could have been done to help the suffering Lusanja residents was to mobilise and guide them appropriately as was the case with in Kasokoso residents. In this way, many of the stakeholders would have been forced to go back to the drawing board and better way forward agreed upon by all parties.
I believe that the good will and publicity enjoyed by my MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, if they were to be directed on this matter, could have had a very big impact on Medard Kiconco and company, who are have interest in the land, to reassess their move and maybe think of a better plan that benefits him and the residents.
Lately, Uganda has streamlined land battles for the local person to get a fair hearing through the trusted court system and results of the committee into lands inquires.
The eviction in Lusanja would have been delayed as the affected residents are given several options. There is no doubt that land is a critical matter in the lives of many of the affected residents.
Leaders cannot work independent of their people. As such, we sometimes need to reach out to them as we make the hard choices for the good of the electorate.

Mr Kantinti is a former Member of Parliament for Kyadondo East