‘You Are Just Land Grabbers’- Residents Chase Away Custodian Board Officials From Land Boundary Opening Mission

A team of five Departed Asians Property Custodian Board -DAPCB officials have been chased away by irritated residents who are objecting to opening boundaries on their land at Kalagala Village in Kiyindi Town Council Buikwe district.

Although the officials have claimed to have notified the residents staying on approximately one square mile of land through the office of the resident district commissioner about the activity, residents insist that once they allow the board to open boundaries, the next move will be evicting them.

The residents thus, joined by local leaders, ordered DAPCB officials to enter their vehicles and vacate the place or risk a serious beating. The officials complied and left the place,  escorted by a Lugazi police patrol of about six officers amidst loud chanting from residents.

Hirome Sabbehe Mayanja, who has opened up a case at Lugazi police on behalf of the board, is still wondering how residents without any certificate of occupancy can respond in such a combative manner to their presence.

Mayanja notes that the land on which they were carrying out boundary opening used to belong to adeparted Indian Damuje Laston Boan in the 1950s. Boan was once a famous coffee farmer before the expulsion of Asians during Amin’s regime.

He further notes that over 200 residents have encroached on the land well knowing that it is under the board management.

Buikwe Resident District Commissioner, Jane Francis Kagaayi has appealed to the president to designate a special enforcement team to support the board execute its planned activities.

Last week, President Yoweri Museveni directed DAPCB to fast-track the recovery of thousands of properties including estates under the board management but believed to have been fraudulently taken over by wealthy business personalities and encroachers.

Isaac Moses Mazinga, a resident at Kiyindi says they have been born on the contested land. He says the government should identify new land to relocate them before embarking on any eviction process.

Another resident, Harunah Bbosa, says the government’s claim of ownership on the land is not adding up. He says after the owner left the place, locals settled on land where they have established gardens, and any plans to evict them will only cause suffering to them. He seems to be unaware that the government took over management of the Asian’s property after they were expelled.

In December 2005, the government released a report showing it paid off 1.7billion Shillings to 119 former owners in compensation.

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