Reverend Mikka Lukwago of St. Stephen Church of Uganda in Kisowera parish yesterday narrowly escaped lynching from an angry mob which accuses the church of encroaching on land that belongs to the community.
Panga wielding youths pelted his car, a Toyota Noah, with stones.
The genesis of the fracas is the contested ownership of the land between the church and the tenants.
The land is approximately 151 acres and covers the two villages of Kisowera and Muduuma. The land is registered in the names of Church of Uganda Mukono Diocese.
The attackers smashed Lukwago’s windscreen who was travelling with his wife and two policemen.
They all escaped unhurt.
In the fracas the angry residents attempted to demolish Lukwago’s pastoral house, smashing all the windows but the police swung into action and the mob ran away.
“These people were ferried to the village because we could hardly identify them. They were all armed with stick and machetes started beating up whoever they found at reverend Lukwago’s home,” said one of the witnesses.
Some of the residents told Nile Post they are protesting the church of Uganda’s plan of evicting them from land without compensating them.
“I am ready to die fighting for this Kibanja because all my parents and grandparents are buried here. I don’t have anywhere to go. Let them compensate me because I am a lawful tenant,” said one of the tenants.
Residents accused the church of mistreating them, knocking down their houses and stopping them from developing their land despite being bonafide bibanja owners for over 30 years.
The terrified Lukwago narrated to us that he was from Nama police post with two police officers when the residents ambushed them along the Nama – Lutengo road.
“If i did not run out I would be finished by now. Government should immediately intervene in the matter because someone is harbouring these goons who are not residents of the area to fight his wars” Lukwago said.
According to Mukono Divisional Police Commander ASP Annabelle Nyamahororo, they arrested one of the residents to help police investigate the matter thoroughly, while all activities of building and sand mining have also been halted.
On August 8, the minister of Lands Judith Nabakooba visited the area after the residents nearly beat up Mukono Diocese Bishop, James William Ssebagala.
He was rescued by Nabakooba’s elite security guards.
In that meeting Nabakooba called for peace and respect to each other and ordered that the tenants should continue farming on their bibanja.