MBARARA – Prince Andrew Tendo, a cousin to the late John Barigye, former prince of Ankole, on Wednesday faced a torrid time before the Commission of Inquiry into land matters as Justice Catherine Bamugemereire accused him of being disrespectful for the commission.
Prince Andrew Tendo was answering queries of how he acquired a land title for three square mile piece of land in Singo, Kyankwanzi district that is occupied by 3,000 residents.
However, he fell into trouble with the probe team when they claimed that he was attempting to open the boundaries forcibly.
When he said that the squatters had broken bridges to deter reopening of the boundaries of the land, commission Deputy Lead lawyer John Bosco Souza said he that he had no justifiable reason to do it since the land was contested.
This angered Prince Tendo who replied that the boundaries of the contested land would be “reopened at any cost”.
This drew the attention of Justice Bamugemereire who asked Prince Tendo who he was threatening.
“Are you threatening us, who are you threatening? You mean the boundaries will be opened at the cost of lives and spilling blood? She said.
Then Prince Tendo apologized and the hearing continued. He then explained that he first applied for the land in 1992 but the initial lease expired in 1997. He was granted a fresh ten-year lease which also expired in 2007. He said he applied for the lease in 2007 and got a full term lease in 2008, but acquired the title last year. He also claimed that he had made several investments on the land such as dairy farming cows. However, Mr Souza told Tendo that this was no justifiable reason to seek a fresh lease for the land.
Prince Tendo said when he applied for the lease and got a ten-year extension there were no people or schools on the land, insisting he would give free land to people who prove to the commission that by the time he got his full lease in 2008 they were on the land. He told the commission that the people on his land are remnants of M23 rebels in DR Congo while others are Interahamwe, a Rwandan militia.
However, Mr Souza said he it’s not his role to determine who is a foreigner or citizen and said he should leave that issue to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.