Residents at Kigugo landing site in Buikwe district are in fear, following the mysterious disappearance of one of their own, who was spearheading resistance against their eviction from their land by State Minister for Water Resources Ronald Kibuule.
Farouk Ssennabulya went missing on Wednesday, moments after the death and burial of yet another defiant resident Dickson Wasswa, who was allegedly beaten by police officers who residents claim were deployed by the minister to guard his land.
The developments come after locals organized themselves and sued Minister Kibuule for trying to forcefully evict them from the 85 acre piece of land he claims ownership.
The locals dragged to Jinja High Court the minister together with one Musa Kateregga, who they accuse of forcing them out of land they have occupied for decades without giving them proper compensation or a chance to buy the land.
According to the residents, Farouk Ssennabulya, who has been instrumental in defending them against the eviction, disappeared on Wednesday soon after Dickson Wasswa was severely beaten by security officers and rushed to Mulago hospital where he died.
Nassali Sanyu, the now widowed wife of Waswa cried out to the Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura to intervene in the land wrangle before more people get hurt.
Sanyu told us her husband left behind 12 children.
Meanwhile the area Village Council chairman LC1 James Banda confirmed the disappearance of Sennabulya.
He said the residents refused to report the disappearance case to local police claiming that it works under the orders of the minister.
In response however, Hon Kibuule reaffirmed that he is the rightful owner of the land in contention but denied accusations that he deployed the police to beat people.
Kibuule says the officers at the landing site are not executing his orders but rather government’s arrangement to curb the increasing crime at the landing site which includes smuggling, illegal fishing and abuse of the environment.
The minister says he acquired the land from Namasole Sarah Natolo of Ssekabaka Mutesa II, which has 146 squatters and that 7 so far have been duly compensated.