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Court

Late AIGP Kaweesi Named in Jinja Gov’t Land Saga

testifying before the commission
Apollo Kateeba testifying before the commission

The slain Assistant Inspector General of Police, Andrew Felix Kaweesi has been named in a matter in which a government property was fraudulently demolished and tenants evicted in Jinja.

During the Lands Commission of Inquiry proceedings on Tuesday, the then commandant of the police Land Protection Unit, Julius Twinomujuni mentioned the late police spokesperson as having influenced the illegal acts of demolition.

In 2014, a government building was demolished after businessman Simpson Birungi of Birus Properties presented a fake title claiming its ownership.

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The building located on plot 60/62 along Alidna Visram road in Jinja town belonged to the Privatization Unit.

On Tuesday, the commission was told that a few days before the demolition, Twinomujuni wrote to Kaweesi advising him there was no court order permitting demolition of the said property.

“I told him it would be good if Birus properties returned to court for a proper eviction order,” Twinomujuni told the commission.

“My role was to advise my superior (Kaweesi) on what should be done.”

He said the late Kaweesi who was by this time the Director Police Operations asked him (Twinomujuni) to go ahead and write to the RPC for an eviction notice to be given to tenants of the property.

The then Land Protection Unit commandant said the order indicated that if the tenants didn’t vacate the property, police would force them out.

The commission was told that Kaweesi ignored advice from his junior on eviction and demolition.

“I had so much trust in him and thought my communication to him wouldn’t be abused by him. I believe he ignored my advice, “Twinomujuni told the commission.

The then Land protection unit commandant found a hard time convincing the commission he never gave a go ahead for the demolition to take place.

He was accused of making the deceased police officer a scapegoat yet he too had participated in the fraudulent dealing.

“By your wrong interpretation of a nonexistent court eviction order, you made government lose property worth millions of shillings as the tenants lost a livelihood,” Lady Bamugemereire accused Twinomujuni.

She suggested that the DPP should take up the matter of causing financial loss to government by the senior police officer.

The then Kira region RPC, Edgar Nyabongo also testified that he got orders from Twinomujuni asking him to write to the DPC in regards to the eviction.

“To me, the order from Twinomujuni was vague. I made more than 10 phone calls to on what he meant,”Nyabongo told the commission.

He however noted that he later wrote to the DPC after realizing that some of his superiors had shown interest in the matter.

“I realized the speed at which the order was moving wasn’t normal because it had moved to many offices in a small time.”

“I thought something was unusual and was beyond my control, “he added.

According to the Kidepo region RPC, he later got a call from his then operations commander, AIGP Kaweesi ordering him to write to the DPC in regards to eviction.

“The call was telling me to clear the eviction order as fast as possible, “he said.

DPC Refuses

The then area DPC Apollo Kateeba told the commission that he had earlier met the tenants of the property whom he advised to lodge a petition with court challenging the eviction.

He said he had assured them that no one would evict them in his presence.

“When I got a communication from the RPC, I told him I wouldn’t be party to it,” Kateeba said.

“I told my operations director (Kaweesi) that it would not be possible for me to do it but he told me he didn’t want unnecessary arguments.”

According to the then area DPC, for fear of repercussions of disobeying orders, he later succumbed to pressure and gave the eviction order.

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