Judith Nabakooza, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, has chastised the police for charging Bibanja owners with criminal trespass when they refused to be evicted from their homes by their landlords.
“Trespassing is an issue that exists everywhere; even when someone is on their Kibanja, it is considered trespassing. The summons to appear on trespass are the next thing you see. So, which trespass when someone is on their kibanja or in their home?” I was perplexed. enquired the Minister.
Nabakooba, who left the police force to enter politics, recommended her former colleagues to seek positions as peacemakers rather than disrupting community harmony.
On Friday, she announced that the eviction of about 1500 people from three square miles of land in Kirwanyi – Buwekula in Mubende District will be halted. She stated that they would need to follow up with the court on the land.
Milly Nava Namutebi, the claimed landlord, is said to have removed inhabitants off the land with the support of high-profile security personnel and the police, and those who opposed have been imprisoned on various accusations.
The land in dispute, according to the residents, belonged to the late Zakaria Kikonyogo and is now in the custody of Edith Nakabugo, Henry Kaaya, and Nicholas Jackson.
The contested land, which is registered under Kitule Estate in Buwekula Sub County, has been in dispute since 2012, when Ms Namutebi attempted to take it without regard for the inhabitants’ rights.
One of the local leaders, Elineo Ssemwole, claims that Namutebi has constantly utilized high-ranking government officials and security personnel to displace them from locations they have occupied for over four decades.