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‘No further demolitions!’ Museveni halts evictions in Kasangati

President Museveni has halted any further demolition of houses in farm zone Lusanja in Wakiso district. This was during a visit to the area where over 2000 people have been left homeless after forcefully being evicted (PPU PHOTO)

KAMPALA – President Museveni has directed the office of the Prime Minister to avail relief items to the people of Lusanja, Wakiso whose homes were demolished prior to a court order obtained by a one Medard Kiconco.

The President flanked by land inquiry team led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire and ministers Rosemary Seninde (State for Education) and Ms. Persis Namuganza (State for Lands) halted any further eviction and demolitions.

He said that government through its agencies would investigate the matter to bring the culprits to book.

“No one should carry out any further demolitions and those behind it will be prosecuted and the property lost in destruction will be compensated by government,” said Mr. Museveni.

“I hereby direct the Office of the Prime Minister to buy tents for the victims of this eviction to stay in, buy them food to feed as government works out compensation for the loss of property as we look out for those behind the demolition,” the President said.

On Friday, Kasangati police led by court bailiffs razed down over 350 homesteads in the area and in the process of blocking them, area chairman, Fred Kanyike, was injured and admitted in the local health facility for medication.

Emotions ran high today as President Museveni toured the 75-acre land where hundreds of families were violently evicted and property worth millions of Shillings destroyed in Sekanyonyi-Lusanja Village, Kasangati Town Council, in Wakiso District.

Angry residents reported to the President that last week, businessman Medard Kiconco claiming to own the land with the help of armed policemen and gangs violently evicted them from the land where they have lived for decades and destroyed their household property.

Many people showed the President the injuries they sustained during the Friday morning incident and cried for help to be allowed to repossess their land for accommodation.

Mr. Fred Kanyike, the leader of the evicted said that more than 300 homes were demolished and 240 others await the same fate during the violent exercise by armed men both in uniform and civilian wear before fencing off their land without any notice.

He explained that the armed men housed in a nearby warehouse were commanded by Police from Kasangati Police Station.

Mr Joseph Kawooya, a resident said the eviction exercise followed a meeting convened by officials purporting to come from Operation Wealth Creation headed by President’s young brother Gen Salim Saleh.

“We have been beaten, tortured and evicted from our land because of the corrupt government officials including the Police and local council leaders,” said Mr. Kawooya.

Justice Bamugemereire said that the eviction was executed amid ongoing investigations and in defiance of temporary orders issued by the land inquiry stopping any further activities.

She reported that the warrant used is dated August 23, issued by the High Court Executions Division but served onto the land probe team on September 19.

“We stopped any action on this land but the holders went ahead and lied to the police. We got surprised that Kiconco hoodwinked the police to destroy peoples’ property without notice,” Justice Bamugemereire said.

She appealed to the President to engage the Chief Justice to issue new practice directions stopping magistrates and registrars from issuing warrants.

The evictions in Kasangati Town Council are part of the numerous cases that transpired at the weekend. Ends

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