By Andrew Irumba
Rakai: The Rakai District Police Commander (DPC) and Residential District Commissioner (RDC) have been accused of allegedly being in bed with land grabbers in the area.
The RDC Charles Mubiru and DPC Ben Niwamanya, were accused by residents of allegedly shielding land grabbers in the district. The allegations surfaced during the Rakai district public accountability forum ‘Baraza’ which was organized at Byakabanda sub county headquarters. During the Baraza that was chaired by Minister In Charge of General Duties Mary Karooro Okrutu, residents accused Mubiru and Niwamanya of what they described as failure to reign over the ongoing incidents of land grabbing in the area. Residents told Minister Karooro that families occupying public land in several villages of; Lungongo, Lwannamboga and Katereero, in Byakabanda Sub County are threatened with eviction by Jamada Mutebi, who freely walks around with armed policemen who terrorizes people in the said. Siraje Mujuzi, the Katereero Village council chairperson and Jamiru Sserwanga, reported that Mutebi-alias Soroweni, who is a land agent to senior officers in the Uganda Police Force, is currently destroying people’s plantations in three villages where he is planting eucalyptus trees without compensating the squatters.
Sserwanga accused Mubiru of failing to control the situation in Rakai district but instead siding with people who are tormenting his residents. Pellegrino Kabuye, the former Byakabanda sub-county chairperson accused the Police Director of Operations and Assistant Inspector General of Police Asuman Mugenyi, of allegedly using Jamada Mutebi as his proxy to grab public land and evict occupants. Mugenyi is one of the biggest land owners in Byakabanda Sub County, but his ownership has since been disputed by both residents and local leadership, who argue that he irregularly converted public land into private Mailo without seeking guidance from the leadership of even compensating the tenants before utilizing the land. However, when we contacted Mugenyi denied the allegations of evicting tenants. He said that he is a legal owner of the disputed land, advising the aggrieved tenants to seek court for redress. But when asked about the matter, Mubiru revealed that the district security committee is closely studying Jamada’s conduct in the community, assuring residents that they are still on top of the situation. Korooro said she had taken note of the concerns raised by the residents and would acts accordingly after