By Andrew Irumba
A total of 1428 poor families of Amujeju village, Kabarwa Sub-County, Bukedea District who were reportedly illegally evicted on May,4, 2019 have appealed to president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to intervene in their plight and find them ever lasting solution.
Poor villagers accuse their area woman MP Anita Among of conniving with the area Deputy Resident District Commissioner (D/RDC) Ochogory, contrary to his boss RDC Hajji Walugembe, Regional Police Commander(RPC), District Police Commander (DPC)Ezra Tugume, among other area leaders to deprive them of their over 5 square miles of land without compensation. In fact, in order to suppress the full District RDC Hajji Walugembe Ramathan who is on the side of the poor victims, on May 25, 2020, he was summoned to appear before the Regional CID East-Kyoga Soroti on cases he allegedly committed between 2017-2018 of ‘abuse of office and corruption’. This, according to sources is because he refused to agree with them on evicting people hiding behind the president. “If it’s the president, I’m his immediate representative in the district, how come I don’t have such directives from the presidency? If you want land for the investor, them talk to the people well and compensate them so they move peacefully instead of hiding before the president,” Walusimbi was heard insisting on phone to yet unidentified caller who was reportedly threatening him via phone.
On top of that, they allege that, while the eviction was taking place at night, women and girls were raped and defiled; the entire population in the said area was buttered, tortured, maimed, arrested, detained, and bruised with impunity. “No action was ever taken against the perpetrators of these heinous acts, since the ones who would take action are the same ones who carried out the said crimes,” their Bugolobi Kampala based lawyers Alliance Advocates noted.
The homeless residents also accused the independent NRM leaning area woman member of Parliament Anita Among of hoodwinking them, together with the area RDC and DPC that the side eviction was carried out on the instructions of president Museveni, in order to pave way for construction of the District state lodge that would house the president whenever he is on the area and an army barracks that would protect the president and other security installations in the district.
“Dear His Excellency, we present this Petition on behalf of our clients, the residents of Amujeju, Kabarwa Sub-County, Bukedea District, requesting for your urgent intervention sir. Sometime on or about the 4th May, 2019, our clients were illegally evicted from their land above mentioned by a group of people claiming to be acting on your orders. Our clients were beaten, property looted and women were raped and to date nobody has been brought to face the law for those serious criminal acts. Our clients further inform us that the District Police Commander Bukedea, Deputy RDC, Bukedea and LC5 Chairperson Bukedea are privy to this illegal eviction and are alleged to have asserted that they were acting on your directives,” reads part of their petition to the president.
Disgruntled Poor Victims Vow To Defecate At State House Till Museveni Meets Them!
Left with no option, out of desperation and anguish, the lawyers of the said over 1428 poor families have vowed to lead them walk from Bukedea up to state lodge in Nakasero where they will camp until the president meets them with a view of settling them since his RDC and police claim they evicted them in order to build his state lodge and barracks.
“Your Excellency, out of desperation, our clients intend to travel to Kampala and appear at the offices of the State House, Anti Corruption Unit to air out their displeasure with the inhuman treatment meted out to them by some goons with the help of government officials purportedly acting on your directives.
Our clients will further be seeking audience with you in their quest for justice against a corrupt Police leadership that is not working for the people but rather serving the interests of a few powerful persons in the District. Specifically, Your Excellency, our clients would like to know if you knew or okayed their eviction to pave way for ‘proposed big investment on their land’,” reads part of their petition.
Meanwhile, this reporter reached out to Hon.Anita for a comment, in which she vehemently distanced self from the allegations citing political ‘games’ at play. “That’s politics at play, I don’t even know where the land is located. It’s not anything within my knowledge,” Anita responded.
On trying to push further, this reporter asked Anita whether it was possible that she didn’t know this area yet it was in her constituency, where over 1428 of her electorates were evicted and she didn’t know. Anita then answered back and said that, although she knew that the area exists, she has never gone there because it’s a hard-to-reach area. “…yes, but I have never reached there, it’s a hard to reach area,” she answered.
TheSpy Uganda, has on separate investigation understood that the same conflict caused an abrupt transfer of a whole justice, Okalany, a born of the same area, whose relatives are among the victims. He was then a judge in Mbale and tried to intervene in the matter but ‘mafias’ quickly worked on his transfer to Kampala, a source said. “They had to take him to a more ‘favorable’ area from Mbale to Kampala so that he feels more comfortable and contented with the changes as though they were in his favor,” the sources added.
“Okalanyi and the Town clerk who tried to intervene were put on death threats and seriously intimidated. The town clerk is still in hiding up to now,” added the source on condition of anonymity for fear of their life.