Uganda – Police investigate eviction of 70-year-old during lockdown

Mamos Media

Mr Lawrence Nabbamba goes about his business at his home. PHOTO/JULIET KIGONGO

By Juliet Kigongo

Kampala metropolitan police has launched investigations into circumstances under which a landlord has moved to evict a 70-year-old man and his family from a three-acre piece of land in Buwate, Kira Municipality in Wakiso District without any compensation or following lawful processes.

The investigation comes after Mr Lawrence Nabbamba filed a complaint with police over his eviction.
Mr Nabbamba and his family have allegedly lived on the land for more than 45 years.

Mr Nabbamba alleges that the landlord, Mr Herbert Musoke Semakula, parcelled out and sold the land to various people amid ongoing court cases now pending determination before the Supreme Court.
He added that the land is occupied by his children and three other people who allegedly bought it from Mr Semakula.

Mr Nabbamba added that he was living in fear and unable to go about his normal work because a group of armed people have been going to his home and threatening to harm him and his family if he does not vacate the land.
Mr Nabbamba further said the men forcefully placed a 20 foot container and bricks on part of the land and ordered them to vacate the land to pave way for development.

He alleges that the act was illegal due to the Covid-19 restrictions but also without any court order since the dispute is still pending determination before the Supreme Court.    
We were unable to reach police to find out how far the investigations had gone.

However, on June 14, the commandant of the Police Land Protection Unit, Mr Charles Mutungi, wrote to the Kiira District Police Commander (DPC) stating that Mr Semakula and his agents had on several occasions made attempts to evict Mr Nabbamba and his family by taking advantage of the Covid-19 situation.

He asked the Kampala Metropolitan Police commander to guide the DPC of Kira Division to clearly understand the complaint and ascertain the disputed property.

“The DPC Kira Division should ensure that there is no eviction, demolition, and execution on ground as per the Chief Justice’s directives,” he said.
We could not reach the landlord for a comment on the matter.

Background
In April last year, government stopped all land transactions and evictions across the country during  the lockdown.

Addressing journalists during the first lockdown last year, Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Beti Kamya said any land titles obtained during the lockdown are considered null and void.
Ms Kamya said Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and District Police Commanders (DPCs) were warned not to engage in any land transaction during the lockdown.

Source Daily Monitor.

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