SOROTI – The NRM Chief Mobiliser for Teso region Ms Teddy Acham is stuck with families who stormed her home demanding to be fed after they were forcefully evicted from their land in Bukedea.
On May 4 2019, a total of 1,000 families of Amujaju Village Kabarwa Sub County in Bukedea District were forcefully evicted from their ancestral land by State House officials who claimed that President Museveni wanted to use the land to construct an army barracks.
Mr. John Omongole, the LC1 chairperson of Amujaju village told PML Daily on Monday that several people were beaten, women raped, food looted and their houses burnt, adding that ever since the eviction took place, Government has never come to their rescue.
According to Mr. Omongole, the Police in Bukedea did not record any statements of the affected families and they have not arrested any suspect yet they are seen moving freely in the town.
“We tried to run to Police to record statements but the District Police Commander of Bukedea Mr. Ezera Tugume turned us down. When we went to the regional police office, we were bounced back and forth, up to now we don’t know whether justice is only for the rich people,” he said.
DPC Tugume declined to comment on the matter when contacted and Senior Presidential Press Secretary, Don Wanyama did not pick or return our repeated calls.
The starving families who have been sheltering at the trading centres and shacking with family friends since they were evicted decided to go to Ms Acham’s home in Soroti on Monday 28, October afternoon vowing not to leave until a solution is found.
Ms Norah Achipa one of the victims who moved with her three children said since the eviction they have been living a difficult life and yet they have not received justice.
“We have come to Ms Acham because she is the NRM mobiliser for Teso region, and she represents the government that has failed to save us from eviction, let her look for food for us and our children because we have nowhere to go and neither do we have food to feed our children, we are living as refugees in our own country,” she lamented.
Rose Ikiria another mother wandered as why the NRM government that they have been voting all along has turned against them.
“We had cultivated our crops in our land but the people who came to evict us looted all our food, raped us, beating us and burning our homes forcing us to flee to stay with friends,” Rose Ikiria, another evictee said.
Rose Adeke said the very people that attacked them are moving freely with security officials without being arrested.
“We shall not leave this home of Ms Acham because she has been the one telling us to continue voting for the NRM government yet the government seems not to be bothered about protecting us,” she said.
Ms. Teddy Acham confirmed the development saying she is stuck with the people, mostly women.
“I have received them here and the children are very hungry what I have done is I bought for them some porridge to eat as I look forward to this issue,” she said.
Mr. John Bosco Ikojo the Member of Parliament for Bukedea County, when contacted, confirmed people were evicted and Police refused to arrest the attackers.
“That eviction is torturing me so much as Member of Parliament for Bukedea County and it has affected my relationship with the district Police Commander of Bukedea Mr. Ezera Tugume, I went to Mr. Ezera’s office over that incident but I was shocked when he told me that he will never take any action to arrest any person who participated in raping, beating, looting and burning houses of the people of Amujaju,” he said.
Mr. Ikojo who also sits on the Defence Committee of Parliament said he wrote to the Police Professional Standard Unit accusing the protesting the behaviour of Mr. Tugume, I even told them that it seems there are leaders who are invisibly behind the eviction but he has not got feedback.
Several attempts to get a comment from Mr. Moses Olemukan, the District LC5 Chairperson of Bukedea failed as he was not answering his calls.
Mr. Hajji Ramadhan Walugembe the Resident District Commissioner Bukedea confirmed several people were evicted, beaten, raped and many of their items looted and no arrests have been made.
Mr. Walugembe who chairs the District Security Committee said security actors in Bukedea District have been compromised by the criminals.
“We sat in the District Security Committee and the committee directed the District Police Commander to arrest the suspects but the DPC never took any action and I don’t know why,” he said.
Maj. Telesphor Turyamumanya, the UPDF 3rd Division spokesperson said they are investigating the incident.
“We shall definitely go to the bottom of this matter, any incident where UPDF soldiers are mentioned, we don’t take it lightly,” he said.
The State Minister for Disaster Preparedness Mr. Musa Ecweru could not be reached for comment.
When contacted Ms Agnes Akiror the State Minister for Teso Affairs said she had no information regarding the eviction.
“Let me find out from the RDC, MPs and the RPC then I will get back to you,” she said.