Kabakumba Masiko, the former information minister and Bujenje county MP has issued an eviction notice to more than 4000 occupants of Bujenje Estate in Bwijanga Sub County in Masindi district.
Through her lawyers, Ekemu and Company Advocates Masiko has ordered the residents to vacate the land within 90 days. The August 5th notice indicates the MP acquired the over 690 acre piece of land from the custodian board six years ago.
According to the notice, the MP wants to develop the land. The land under contention covers the villages of Ikoba, Bihanga and Kityedo in Bwijanga Sub County.
However, the affected residents have vowed not to vacate the estate. Kefa Mugisa, whose house is opposite Kabakumba’s home across the Masindi-Hoima road in Ikoba village, says nobody will leave the land. Mugisa accuses Kabakumba of using her position to fraudulently acquire the land saying the sitting tenants were not given chance to buy off the land. The land Act as amended in 2009 requires that lawful tenants be given the option of buying the land first in case the landlord wants to sell it off.
According to Mugisa, Indians left behind the land in question in the 1930s. After their departure Bunyoro Kitara kingdom took it over and allocated it to the Omukama’s subjects. He downplays Kabakumba’s claims that she bought the land from the custodian board.
However Red Pepper Online cannot independently verify Mugisa’s claims with Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom officials. Julius Kahiira, the LC V councilor of Bwijanga Sub County also sits on the contested land. Kahira says he has a permanent house and other developments on the land, which he he cannot let go.
According to the local leader, all the other residents have permanent homes, sugarcane gardens and coffee plantations among other developments on the land. There are also three churches on the contested land.