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Elderly woman abandons home in fear of her life

Mukono RDC Fred Bamwine speaking to the media in his office. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

MUKONO – Ms Veronica Buyinza an elderly woman of Takajjunge village in Nama Sub County, Mukono district has abandoned her home saying she received death threats resulting from a land dispute with Mr William Matovu her neighbour.

The 72-year-old has been in conflict with Mr Matovu over the land for four years now.

Ms Buyinza said that Mr Matovu showed up at her home in 2015 claiming to be the new landlord of the land that she is on.

She claimed that he ordered her to surrender half of her land that measures an acre.

Ms Buyinza said: “Mr Matovu first came to me in 2015 saying he is the new landlord of the land where I built my home.”

“He asked me to surrender half of the land or risk forceful eviction on grounds that I have not been paying my ground rent,” she said

“I surrendered one acre of the land to him to avoid conflicts,” she added.

Ms Buyinza then said that she was surprised to see Mr Matovu claiming another acre of her land on which her home and banana plantation are found.

She said: “Even after giving him part of the land he again came for this one too but i refused to surrender it and he threatened to kill me.”

“Due to the fear for my life I left my home and am currently staying with a female community leader’s home (nabakyala),” she said

She sought help from the Mukono Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Mr Fred Bamwiine, who wrote a letter Mr Matovu summoning him to his office twice but he didn’t not show up.

Mr Bamwiine said: “Ms Buyinza came to my office asking for help over a land dispute between her and her neighbour Mr Matovu claiming to be her new landlord.”

“I wrote letters to him twice summoning him to my office but he has never turned up. I acknowledged her as the owner of the land basing on the evidence she showed.” He added

However, it is alleged that Mr Matovu order his domestic workers to clear down Ms Buyinza’s banana plantation on hearing the news two days ago.

On contacting Mr Matovu, he said that Ms Buyinza had left the land to become bushy which made it a target for the many land grabbers.

Mr Matovu said: “I cleared the land because it was so bushy and people tend to grab such land thinking it’s free.”

“Am only trying to protect her and have no plans of sending her away from the land,” He added

However, he also noted that Ms Buyinza lacks any single document proving ownership of the contested land but he is lenient with her since she has occupied the land for over ten years.

The Deputy RDC Mukono, Mr Richard Ntulume said that their office had a meeting with the residents of Takajjunge village who confirmed that the land belongs to Ms Buyinza.

On speaking to some of the residents, they said Ms Buyinza has occupied the land for several years and wonder why Mr Matovu is trying to evict her.

Ms Jennifer Gashegu said: “Ms Buyinza has occupied the land for the last forty years.”

Mr Lawrence Mugwanga, another resident wondered how one can obtain ownership of land that hosts the ancestral grounds of somebody else.

Mr Ntulume condemned those behind the destruction of Ms Buyinza’s plantation.

He said: “Whoever is involved in the destruction of Ms Buyinza’s banana plantation will be captured and charged with malicious damage of property.”

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