Minister asks Bunyoro locals to defend selves against land grabbers

Minister asks Bunyoro locals to defend selves against land grabbers
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Amidst increasing cases of land grabbing in Bunyoro sub region, state minister for lands Dr. Sam Mayanja has asked people not to watch on but rather defend themselves .

Since the discovery of oil in the Albertine region, Bunyoro has  seen a spike in land related wrangles where rich people take advantage using their powers to grab land especially that is strategically located.

For instance, now four villages including Bulera, Katugo, Kibati and Kyakaliba residents are living in fear after a prominent rich lawyer Yesero Mugenyi threatened to evict them from the 800 acres of land that he claims to own in Hoima city West.

The Kyakaliba LC 1 chairman Ramadhan Byonta says they have lost about 18 residents in this land related conflicts.

"We have lost our people here. About 18 people have been murdered at night especially those that have been so vocal defending land here, and when we go to police they never help us. All  they tell us is Mugenyi is so connected and they can't handle those matters," Byonta said

The Katugo parish LC 2 chairman Tagababyona Esau said they have literally moved to all offices in Hoima but none of them is willing to help them.

"There is no office we have not gone to, but we have not found help, the man is so connected every office you go to he pays them off and the file will not move."

While interacting with these people on their plight, minister Mayanja wondered how a prominent lawyer who they grew up admiring knows the law could evict people on their land

"I'm really disappointed, this man came to my office yesterday who looks a little old about 92 years, told me there are land issues and he understands .I'm going to intervene. Everywhere Mugenyi is grabbing land. In this government this can't happen, I want him arrested and all these titles I can confirm he acquired them wrongly and  they should be cancelled," Mayanja directed.

He  said for people who want to get land, they have a right to buy under willing buyer willing seller not using force, and conniving with land boards to sell off land .

"For the land boards, we are very disappointed in you. You sit in hotels ,make documents and land is given out like that. This will not happen. For people to acquire land, there are lawful procedures which have to be followed always. Now  for these titles of Mugenyi and another pastor Kyebambe in Kikuube where I first visited should be cancelled."

Mayanja also asked people to stop lamentations and folding hands as rich people grab their land yet the constitution gives them the right for self defence.

"So when you have a wife at home and find her with another man do you run away? If you go to police and you are not being helped, please handle those land grabbers. They will go and tell their colleagues and this vice of grabbing people's land will stop since they will have known that you are very empowered," Mayanja noted

The Hoima city resident city commissioner Babru Mugabi together with Kikuube resident district commissioner Amlan Tumusiime who is also a dean of RDCS in Bunyoro, said they are going to work with all relevant authorities to see that the directives are implemented so that sanity and peace can be restored.

"We have listened to the ministers guidance.Why we called him was that the matters had gone out of our capacity to handle. Now we have been guided. These directives will be implemented and their will be peace that we know," Mugabi said

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