Residents: Police Protecting Land Grabbers

1796 Views Wakiso, Uganda

In short
The 561 acres contested chunk of land is found on block 153 plot 5 in Mpeggwe village.

More than 400 people living on a contested piece of land in Mpeggwe village in Kakiri Sub County of Wakiso district are accusing police of protecting the land grabbers. The 561 acres contested chunk of land is found on block 153 plot 5 in Mpeggwe village. In May 2012, Kampala High court issued an interim injunction stopping anybody from carrying out any activity on the disputed piece of land until court disposes of case between Augustine Kikonyogo and two businessmen Justus Katesigwa and Mike Mawejje over its ownership.

However, residents led by their LC I Chairperson Jackson Dumba accuse Katwesiga and Mawejje of carrying out construction on the disputed land in defiance of the court order. They accuse the area police led by Richard Balenzi, the office in charge of Kakiri Police Station of protecting the land grabbers. Dumba says the developers have been coming to the disputed land for the past ten days to carry out construction under full police protection.

He says that some of cops act as escorts while the rest carry out foot and motor patrols in the village. Dumba says that he tried to approach the cops in his capacity as a local leader but they threatened to shoot him. Emmanuel Lujumba, a resident says that he is worried of the heavy deployment in the village whenever he businessmen show up. Lujumba is worried that his ten acre piece of land is being grabbed at gunpoint.

Swalleh Musungule, another resident accuses police of conniving with the businessmen to evict them forcefully without negotiations. He accuses police of taking sides with the businessmen instead of enforcing a court order that bars any activity on the disputed land. Our reporter found 5 policemen on one of the hills protecting Katesigwa and Mawejje who were supervising the construction of a residential house.
The duo declined to comment on the accusations by the residents when approached by the reporter. Vincent Irama, Wakiso District Police Commander has not yet commented on the allegations against his officer as he neither picked nor returned calls from our reporter.


Tagged with: land policy