Minister, RDC clash over illegal eviction in Buikwe

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Minister, RDC clash over illegal eviction in Buikwe
Minister Mutasingwa (right) intervened to stop RDC Namugenyi in Buikwe last month | Herbert Sseryazi

Buikwe RDC Hawa Ndege Namugenyi ends up pleading after a minister stormed her eviction party

BUIKWE | The Minister of State in the Office of the Vice-President, Ms Diana Nankunda Mutasingwa, on Wednesday evening faced off with the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Hawa Ndege Namugenyi at the scene of a suspected illegal eviction in Naava Cell, Njeru Municipality of Buikwe District.

The RDC mobilised a team of security personnel comprising army and police officers and escorted a team of a group of self-claimed bailiffs (not registered) to demolish a house belonging to Simon Herbart Alideki.

Alideki and his sister Stella Nambi had earlier petitioned the High Court in Fort Portal challenging the unfair distribution of properties of their late father, Simon Peter Kasikisa. by their siblings from another mother.

The petitioners chose the High Court in Fort Portal where the deceased had the biggest estate. The petition mentioned other properties in the Buikwe and Mukono districts.

They accused their siblings Peter Ddamulira, Gerald Kasekende, George Namugera, and Madalena Nakyajja of selling the deceased’s estate without their consent.

The accused with support from the RDC instead chose to evict the complainant from the properties of possession despite being served with a court injunction stopping any development on the estate by both parties until the matter before the court is concluded.

However, Minister Mutasingwa intervened and stopped the eviction.

The angry RDC jumped out of her vehicle asking who was above her to stop the eviction. She had probably not recognised the minister.

“I am in command of this eviction, who is stopping it?" the RDC asked before the minister moved straight to her, demanding to see the eviction order and a district security committee minute endorsing the eviction.

“No one is usurping your powers, do you mind showing me the eviction order, district security committee consent, evidence that you served the aggrieved party, particulars of the bailiff and then I shall leave this place. Or else, stop the destruction of properties right now,” the minister said.

The RDC was almost frozen out of her wits, standing as if she had not heard what the minister asked for.

The minister picked up her mobile phone to ring the Office of the Presidency.

“I am calling Minister [Milly] Babalanda. What kind of nonsense is this? You people are sent to represent the President but instead you're misrepresenting him. What makes it hard for you to wait for the court decision to implement the eviction? Who paid you?” Mutasingwa demanded.

When the RDC heard the minister mention calling Ms Babalanda, the minister for the presidency and the RDCs line minister, she started pleading.

“Please let us sort this out as adults, don’t call my boss,” she said.

The minister instructed her to enter his vehicle so they could move to Njeru police station to record a statement.

As soon as the RDC entered her vehicle, she instructed her driver to take the opposite direction but also the minister instructed his driver to move after their vehicle and broke the way.

At this time, the RDC declined to get out of the vehicle but remained inside making telephone calls, after about twenty minutes of waiting the minister received a call, we later learned it was from Babalanda asking her to let the RDC go and promised that the office would find another way of dealing with her.

The minister went back to the contested land and ensured that every eviction move was stopped. Later, went to Njeru police station and recorded a statement against the RDC before promising to write a comprehensive report against her.

Njeru Municipality mayor Yasin Kyazze said the RDC went behind the district security committee to implement the eviction order.

“I did not know that the minister was also coming here, I received a telephone call from local leaders informing me how the RDC wanted to beat and arrest them for asking questions about this process,” Kyazze said.

The incident happened at a time when many residents, especially bibanja owners in Buikwe, face eviction intimidation and threats from landlords backed up by the RDC.

Last month, the family of the late Alexander Kiwombojjo accused the RDC of stopping them from using their plots of land because the landlord had not sanctioned long-term projects on plots of the land such as growing sugarcane.

She also noted that bibanja owners are not allowed to have plots bigger than three acres.

Nevertheless, the RDC’s actions contradict the recent presidential directive issued at Gomba while celebrating Heroes' Day.

President Museveni directed landlords to stop illegal evictions of bibanja holders and charging excessive land fees.

“The landlords who have been charging more than the agreed busuulu fees by the district must return it, and if they try to evict our people, we shall arrest them. You must pay back all the money you have taken from these people and the evictions are illegal,” Museveni noted before asking the RDCs to step up efforts to ensure that tenants are protected.

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