Kayihura suspends Mubende police commanders over land grabbing

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, News

The inspector General of Police Gen.Kale Kayihura has suspended all the police commanders in Mubende after being alleged to be involved in land grabbing by locals.

The suspended officers include; SSP Christopher Barugahare, the Regional Police Commander (RPC) for Wamala region,ASP Charles Magoola, the District Police Commander(DPC) SP Swaliki Magoola, the OC CID and Hakim Mukama, the OC in charge of lands.

This was after a meeting organised by the state minister for Lands, Persis Namuganza and her counterpart for Kampala, Benn Namugwanya following complaints by locals about land grabbing in the area.

In the meeting held at Kilwanyi village in Butorogo sub-county on Friday , the locals accused the police leadership led by the District Police Commander Assistant Superintendent of Police Magoola and the officer in charge of the lands department Assistant Superintendent of Police Mukama of conniving with land lords to grab their land.

In response, Kayihura promised them a lasting solution by suspending the police leadership in the area whom he said have failed to perform their duties.

“As a doctor who has spent a long time since the days of the bush, I have been able to examine the problem in this area. I put the problem on the Regional Police Commander,”Kayihura said.

The police boss explained to the locals that the RPC failed in his duty to explain to the president issues related to land in the area.

“I can’t keep answering for people who don’t work. President was here. Why didn’t you come here and explain what is happening. You will have to explain to me because things could not have happened here,”Kayihura added.

The land in question is allegedly owned by one Princess Naava from Kampala, whom locals says is not the outright owner.

The locals claim that the alleged land lord is using police to evict them from the land they have lived on for many years.

Last year, during his tour around the country to explain land matters to locals, President Yoweri Museveni discussed the land in question.

He would later meet the district security committee and among the issues they discussed was the land but the RPC failed to explain the president circumstances related to the land.

“The President was bitter on that land lord(Naava) whom he said was working with security to mistreat the locals,” said Journey Katushabe, the Mubende district coordinator in charge of crime prevention who was privy to Museveni’s meeting last year.

Consequently, the area RDC Florence Beyunga was suspended over the same matter.
In the Friday meeting, Kayihura apologised to the locals for failure by police on its mandate to protect them together their property.

He blamed the OC in charge of lands for failure to protect locals from being evicted from their land, yet it is his mandate.

“The police Land Protection Unit’s job was launched by the president in Wakiso and its job is to protect people not evict them,” he said.

He also blamed the OC CID for failure to detect that eviction of people from their land would lead to increase in crime in the area and avoid it.

Kayihura promised locals that he would camp in the area for the entire week as part of his efforts to clean the rotten police force in Mubende .

“This is Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo. This government is to serve you .I am going to bring you angels that will protect you.All those you have talked about should go. We must clean the police in Mubende.”

The IGP ordered the suspended officers to report to the Professional Standards Unit commander John Okalany who had moved with him before asking him to recommend a replacement for the RPC.

Last year, the commission of inquiry into land matters led by Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire visited the land in question.

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