Veterans Protest Illegal Sale of Their Land Top story

1314 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Kizito Nsubuga, the new Masaka District Veterans Association Chairperson, says their investigations show that the land was illegally sold off to Birimuye using forged documents purportedly signed by members.

Tension is mounting in Masaka following the illegal disposal of a piece of land belonging to National Resistance Army war veterans. The land in question is found at Mutuba-Musisi gardens along Kyewalyanga Road near the Bank of Uganda Currency Centre.
Information obtained by URN shows that Masaka district local government allocated the said land to Masaka Veterans Association in 1998 to set up projects to help members boost their incomes. The veterans have been using the land to grow tomatoes, maize and beans as well as bake bricks for sale.
However, it has emerged that the two acre piece of land was sold off to businessman Denis Birimuye without the consent of the veterans. Birimuye has issued an eviction notice to veterans to vacate the land. The veterans accuse Musa Katende Ssemakula, the former Chairperson Masaka veterans Association, their finance secretary Major Joseph Mugerwa and Hamid Matovu of illegally selling off their land to Birimuye.

Kizito Nsubuga, the new Masaka District Veterans Association Chairperson, says their investigations show that the land was illegally sold off to Birimuye using forged documents purportedly signed by members. He says they had even secured a land title, which their leaders have reportedly surrendered to Birimuye.
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Deo Ssebowa, another Veteran says they had started a washing bay on the land to expand their earning, but their plans have been thwarted by the sale. He says they have given the three officials up to the end of the week to reverse the sale of their land or else they declare war on them.
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Abdullah Karamagi, another veteran says he is surprised that the people they entrusted with leadership have sold their assets. Karamagi claims that he hasn't completed the fees of three of his children because he has no other source of income.

Denis Birimuye says he bought the land from the leaders of the veterans but declined to divulge details. Katende Ssemakula, the former Chairperson Masaka Veterans Association who is accused of masterminding the sale of the land declined to comment on the matter, saying it doesn't concern the media.

His co-accused Major Joseph Mugerwa also declined to speak about the matter. By the time of filing this story, veterans had started assembling on the disputed land to block any activities on it. They vowed to pitch camp on the land to stop any further redevelopment saying they didn't endorse the transaction.  Records from the district show that there are more than 100 NRA veterans in Masaka.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.