Teargas, Live Bullets Rock Iganga as Police Evicts Illegal Land Occupants

Teargas and live bullets were fired to disperse rioting residents

It was a running battle on Tuesday morning at Bulubandi village, about it near Iganga town as police and court bailiffs battled residents who were resisting eviction from a disputed piece of land on which they have lived for more than five years.

About fourteen families have been occupying quarter an acre of land they claim to have bought from a one Ali Lukungu along Saza Road in Iganga.

But pandemonium erupted last week on Tuesday when the occupants received an eviction notice from Iganga police asking them to vacate the land within three days because it belonged to Justice Steven Musota.

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The news caused unrest and chaos among the affected residents who protested by drumming and lighting bonfires in their compounds to purportedly attract public sympathy.

Court bailiffs in the company on police accordingly met stiff resistance in the attempt of evicting the already charged occupants who claim to be the rightful owners of the land prompting police to fire live bullets and teargas in order to execute their mission.

One of the residents Mr Mawazi Tiwanje said that they had several times tried to seek a court injunction but failed thereby resorting to demonstration.

“We all bought these plots from Lukungu in the presence of LC I officials who wrote and appended their signatures to the sale agreements thereby paving way for construction of our houses. We have just been shocked to and learn of other wrangles after developing the land, page ” Mr Tiwanje said.

Mr Wambi Mufumba, another victim of the circumstance said that he bought his plot in 2002 without receiving any warning that the land was disputed.

“If they surely contend that this is their land, then let them first compensate us or else we have nowhere to go having bought the land genuinely with legal supporting documents” he added.

Information at police indicates that Justice Musota has for a couple of years been wrangling with Mr  Lukungu over the ownership of the land.

Justice Musota recently secured a court order to evict people from the land after protracted court battles.

Mr Sadam Waiswa and Mr Henry Musana, who led the resistance, were arrested as houses and crops like maize and bananas were being burnt to ashes.

Iganga District Police Commander, Mr Nasibu Ndita also confirmed the arrest of Mr Lukungu who allegedly sold the land to the occupants as investigations into the matter continue.

Unfortunately, when police fired teargas to diffuse the protestors, it randomly spread to the neighboring Iganga Parents School affecting students.

More than 40 students fainted after inhaling tear gas and were rushed to Nakavule hospital for first aid and treatment.

The school head teacher Mr Asuman Mpata said some of the affected students were senior four candidates who were preparing for a physics
paper later in the day.

By press time, at least 30 students had been discharged.


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