President Museveni has warned in the forthcoming year, he will not tolerate anyone evicting people from land.
There have been rampant evictions in various parts of the country and most prominent one being the one in Lusanja where over 500 homesteads were demolished by businessman Medard Kiconco in Wakiso district.
Giving his new year message at his country home in Rwakitura, Museveni said most of the victims of the evictions are either elders who participated in the bush war that brought the ruling NRM party to power in 1986 or their descendants, arguing that he cannot allow his comrades suffer.
“Most of the people being evicted are either the elders I led in the Resistance Wars or their descendants. They did not abandon the NRA and I will not abandon them,”Museveni said on Monday evening.
“Land evictions will stop. I will directly lead the struggle against illegal land evictions.”
Museveni said that the five categories of the legal bibanja owners are those whose ancestors were found on that land; those allowed on the land by the land owner or his agent; the bonafide occupants that were on that land by 1983; or the ones who bought or inherited from any of the four categories and those who have been on land for the past 12 years without anyone challenging their existence.
He said that State House lawyers are liaising closely with the Chief Justice to ensure they use legal means to safeguard people on their land.
“We cannot, however, tolerate the unfair treatment of our comrades in the struggle ─ the Bibanja owners,”Museveni noted.
On a number of occasions several government officers have colluded with land grabbers to carry out illegal evictions leaving many people landless whereas their property is destroyed.
In October, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into land matters accused several judicial officers of colluding with colleagues from government to forcefully evict people from land in disregard of the law in what she termed as a syndicate.
“Notably, the manner in which the orders, rulings and judgments are arrived at indicates a grand level of ‘cartelization’ between government officers that allows the issuance of titles, no objection approvals and other such facilitating documents,” Bamugemereire said in a statement in October.
Speaking on Monday, Museveni said the State House unit created recently and headed by Lt.Col.Edith Nakalema will help to point out officers involved in corruption that among others leads to illegal land evictions for action to be taken.
“There is a 24 hours call centre where people can report bribery efforts, embezzlement, land evictions, and crime among others.”
“The unit, then, contacts the Police, the IGG so that they handle the cases. They, then, help the IGG, the Police IGP, the Chief Justice to monitor the actions of their juniors and they also report to me,”Museveni said.