You're not above the law, Sembabule RDC tells Col Mwesigwa

You're not above the law, Sembabule RDC tells Col Mwesigwa
RDC Kagaayi

Sembabule Resident District Commissioner Jane Frances Kagaayi has warned Col Naboth Mwesigwa that letting loose his cattle to damage crops of locals will not be tolerated.

Kagaayi's warning comes as tension between Sembabule residents and military officer over animal trespass threatened to boil over.

The no-nonsense RDC told Mwesigwa that ranks and status must submit to the laws of the land.

The saga began when reports surfaced of residents resorting to drastic measures to protect their crops from Col Mwesigwa's rampant grazing cattle.

According to witnesses, frustrated by repeated incursions into their gardens, locals took matters into their own hands, wielding pangas to drive the Colonel's cows away from their fields.

Sembabule DPC David Wills Ndawula, RDC Kagaayi with the residents following the meeting

This daring act of defiance underscores the deep-seated frustration felt by many residents who have long endured the destruction of their livelihoods by roaming livestock.

The situation escalated further when the incident caught the attention of NBS Television and Nile Post, last week, amplifying the narrative of agricultural conflict in the district.

Through their coverage, the plight of Sembabule's farmers gained national visibility, prompting authorities to intervene decisively.

Yesterday, RDC Kagaayi convened a meeting in Sserinya village to address mounting grievances regarding Mwesigwa's cattle encroaching on residents' farmland.

Despite repeated complaints and even a previous incident where residents took matters into their own hands by killing soldier's 10 cows, tensions remained unabated.

In the meeting, Kagaayi told residents that she wrote to Col Mwesigwa asking him to be part of the meeting but he had not showed up.

Vincent Ssentongo, the Sserinya village chairman, expressed his frustration after being accused by the soldier of killing a cow that was found dead in his farm.

Ssentongo denied wrongdoing or any knowledge of the incident.

SSentongo (right) says the matter should be left to the Almighty

Residents are wary that Mwesigwa could be having intentions of evicting them from their land because he has refused to cooperate with both the residents and local leaders.

“Colonel Mwesigwa is just renting the farm where he must graze his cows from but the farm does not have a fence," one of the resident said.

"We have started getting negative thinking that this colonel might have intentions of taking our land because why is he denying the meetings?

In response to mounting pressure, RDC Kagaayi issued a direct message to Col Mwesigwa, delivering a clear ultimatum to cease the unlawful grazing of cows on residents' land.

She said that no individual, regardless of their military rank or influence, is exempt from respecting property rights and adhering to agricultural regulations.

“President Museveni is also grazing in the area without oppressing anyone, now who is Colonel Nabboth?” Kagaayi asked.

She reiterated her commitment to protecting the rights of the people.

Kagaayi ordered residents to take matters into their own hands by impounding Mwesigwa's cows and tethering them if found trespassing.

Ssentongo, however, urged the residents to leave the matter to divine intervention.

“Colonel’s cows are protected by the armed men. They will shoot my residents,” Ssentongo said.

Local authorities have also announced plans to implement stricter enforcement measures to prevent future clashes and uphold the rule of law.

This includes deploying patrols to monitor livestock movements and engaging in community dialogue to foster understanding and cooperation between farmers and cattle owners.

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