Buikwe farmer counts losses after sugarcane plantation is sprayed with dangerous chemicals

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Buikwe farmer counts losses after sugarcane plantation is sprayed with dangerous chemicals
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The family of the late Alexander Kiwombojjo at Ngogwe Sub-county in Buikwe District is counting losses after a self-claimed landlord sprayed their sugarcane plantation with dangerous chemicals , allegedly on orders of the Resident District Commissioner, Hawa Ndege Namugenyi.

Family members of late Kiwombojjo say they invested nearly shs40 million  to re-establish about 12 acres of sugarcane on their plots of land and that to their shock, the RDC stopped them from using their land claiming tenants are not supposed to run long-term projects on plots of land.

The heir Solomon Ssekatawa says the RDC made orders during a meeting she convened at the district headquarters on May 15, this year on claims that she received complaints from the landlords stopping any development on land.

As a result, the self-claimed landlord sprayed over six acres of sugarcane during the night hours with dangerous chemicals causing the sugarcanes to dry.

Buikwe Agricultural Officer visited the plantation and confirmed that it was sprayed using non-selective herbicides used in clearing the waste ground, industrial, and construction sites to kill all plant materials it comes in contact with.

It is alleged that the spraying exercise was conducted by Ponsiano Nsubuga, Robert Kizito, and Herbert Bosco Kiwanuka, together with their mother, Robinah Kitombo claiming to be the administrators of the estate of the late Wasswa Batulumayo, the Landlord where Kiwombojjo’s plots of land are comprised.

According to the family members, the contested plot of land is where Kiwombojjo used to cultivate crops, specifically vanilla and sugarcane until he passed on in 2020 at the age of 84.

They say  they have opened up a case of trespass, and malicious damage at Ngogwe Police Station seeking its intervention but nothing has been done to the culprits.

One of the family administrators of the estate of the late Kiwombojjo, Nicholas Luminsa says they are tenants willing to pay land fees to the landlord or buy off themselves but the self-claimed landlords have no documents confirming their possession.

“The self-claimed landlords have lived with us in the village, come out after the death of our father, and started claiming our land. They have support from the office of the RDC who denied us a chance to explain our case,” Luminsa noted.

In our recent conversation with the RDC, she revealed what she is doing before concluding that the tenants on the contested land are instead the land grabbers.

This incident happened at the time when the RDC was facing serious criticism for conducting an illegal eviction of residents at Naava Cell in Njeru Municipality of Buikwe District.

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