MASAKA: The Prime Minister of Uganda Rt. Hon Robinah Nabbanja has intervened in the Masaka land evictions and ordered the status quo to remain until the matter is fully resolved by Judiciary.
The Premier on Sunday 12th February, was airlifted to Masaka and held an emergency meeting at Kasajjagirwa village, Kimaanya-Kabonera division in Masaka city after a public outcry from the affected persons. The Premier was accompanied to Masaka by the Lands, housing and Urban Development Minister Hon. Judith Nabakooba, State Minister for Kampala Kabuye Kyofatogabye, a team of RCCs, technical officials, Local government leaders among others.
Four households were mercilessly evicted from their ancestral land owned by the late Lukka Lukoma by one Kalegga January, Kakeeto Deus and Mbuga, and also led to the imprisonment of Nsamba.
Nabbanja told the people that government condemns any form of eviction of people from their Bibanja and that the president issued stringent guidelines for any eviction.
Nabbanja said that the people who have been staying on the disputed land should be given security to remain there until the matter is resolved by the judiciary.
The Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba attributed rampant Illegal evictions in Masaka and Uganda to ignorance, corruption and greed. However, Nabakooba faulted the people who were behind the illegal destruction of crops and houses because it was not in the court order.
Minister Kyofatogabye who represented the Minister for the presidency told residents that they have already suspended the Resident City Commissioner for Masaka Ronald katende to allow smooth investigations into the matter.
The affected people commended government for the timely intervention.
On 23rd January 2023, Masaka high court ordered an eviction on the said land under circumstances that the occupants hand sold off the land to Mbuga and failed to relocate.
The contested land measures approximately 6 acres and all crops were mercilessly cut down causing a scuffle between the two contesting parties.
The Premier donated shs10million to the affected people to help them settle as the matter is being handled.
The Minister In-charge of Presidency, Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda on Friday suspended the Masaka Resident City Commissioner (RCC), Mr. Ronald Katende with immediate effect over alleged failure to execute the Presidential directive on land evictions.
This followed various complaints to the Minister from residents of the area who were illegally evicted from their land under the watch of the RCC. Mr. Katende has since been placed under investigation and in case he is found guilty he will be dealt with in accordance to the Public Service Standing Orders.
Last year, the President of Uganda banned all land evictions in the country that are carried out without the consent of the respective District Security Committees (DSCs).
In a letter dated February 28, 2022, addressed to the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, and using his powers under Article 98(1) and 99(1) of the Constitution that enjoins him to ensure good governance and protect the Constitution, the President directed that:
“No eviction should be allowed to take place in a district without the consent and direct observation of the District Security Committee (DSC), chaired by the Resident District Commissioners /Resident City Commissioners (RDCs/RCCs) and direct consultation with the Minister of Lands.”
Museveni further warned that if this is not done and the illegal evictions go ahead, the members of the District Security Committee will all be held responsible and action will be taken against them.