On Spot! Squatters Accuse Police Of Brutality

Squatters neighboring Masese landing site community police station on Thursday accused a section of police personnel of repeatedly harassing them.

The 10 squatter families residing adjacent to the police station say that police officers ranging from the ranks of inspectors of police to assistant superintendents of police, have often threatened them with eviction, yet they lack requisite documents to prove ownership.

Masese police was designated on request by area residents following a visit by then Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura to the area in 2013.

A council resolution was made and a 107 by 30 feet plot was allocated to Uganda police force with an aim of enabling them to construct a substantive police station, while co-existing with the already existing squatters on the land.

The current police station comprises of a community sensitization hall, police cells area and moderate residential units for standby police personnel. However over time, there has been pressure to expand and authorities are reported to have resorted to encroaching on the land of other squatters, who are still awaiting a council resolution to be relocated to other areas.

Charles Olwenyi, a resident in the area says that they were living harmoniously however, in 2018, police personnel started pressurizing them to vacate the premises.

Olwenyi adds that the harassment has continued to date, and they even forcefully converted their bathroom into a police cell, after they declined to vacate the contested land.

David Dhikusoka, another resident says that he has lived on the contested land for the past 27 years, but he is surprised that police personnel reached an extent of destroying their community toilet as a means of evicting them from the contested premises.

Meanwhile, Jinja Resident City Commissioner Kyeyune Ssenyonjjo says that members of the city security committee have interested themselves in the matter and have resolved to foster measures of ensuring that police personnel co-exist harmoniously with their neighbors.

Ssenyonjjo has further directed the Jinja city clerk to open boundaries that clearly distinguish the demarcations of the land allocated to police, from the rest of their surrounding neighbors, with the aim of ensuring harmony.

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