Mubende land case: Victims want state attorney disqualified over conflict of interest


Victims in the Mubende land eviction case have asked the High Court to disqualify the Resident State Attorney from a criminal matter in which they are accused of resisting eviction citing conflict of interest.

Around Independence Day anniversary in 2018, one George Kaweesi with the help of security personnel evicted over 3000 people from five villages of Kambuye, Kikono, Kyabaana, Kanseera and Lwensanga in Mubende district but in the resultant scuffle, a number of people were arrested and are currently facing criminal prosecution for resisting the illegal eviction.

However, two of these including Grace Nantubiiro and Ronald Mugwabya have petitioned the High Court in Mubende seeking for orders to disqualify Senior State Attorney Richard Bivumbika, the prosecutor handling their prosecution in the criminal matter, accusing him of having a conflict of interest.

“Bivumbika has vested interest in the criminal matter since he participated on the side of the complainant evictor, George Kaweesi in the meetings and negotiations regarding the land in question, whose failure led to the forced violent and arbitrary evictions,” the victims cum the accused say in their petition through their lawyers led by Eron Kiiza.

The group says that the problematic land conflict meetings and negotiations in which Bivumbika hosted in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Mubende and participated in, happened prior to the alleged commission of the offences they are accused of in the criminal proceedings that resulted from the forceful eviction.

“Bivumbika acted and played the role of George Kaweesi’s land transactions advisor and lawyer prior to the fatal eviction from the site, the associated death and concomitant prosecution. He, therefore, lacks the impartial, fair and objective disposition expected of a prosecutor in a fair and dignified trial.”

They say that because their prosecution emanates from a case where Bivumbika was a legal advisor to their tormentor, he is conflicted to handle the same matter and want court to disqualify him from the case.

The group of over 3000 people has a pending civil suit before the Mubende High Court in which they are protesting against their eviction from five villages including Kambuye, Kyabaana, Kikoono, Lwensanga and Kanseera in Mubende District by one  George Kaweesi from a piece of land measuring  322.5 hectares with the help of police personnel.

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