Eye Witness Account: How MP Mwijukye Is Hiding Behind Church To Grab Family Land In Buhweju

A tumultuous clash unfolded in Buhweju District on May 12, 2024, as accusations of land grabbing marred the peaceful setting of Omuhambo, Kyakatungu, Rwanyamabare. The dispute, centered around ancestral land, pitted workers against church congregants, with Hon. Francis Mwijukye, a Member of Parliament, at the center of the storm.

According to a statement issued by the family of the late G.W. Burimbale, custodians of the disputed land for centuries, the incident erupted during a routine church service. Allegations suggest Hon. Mwijukye, representing a neighboring constituency, orchestrated the confrontation, inciting congregants to assert ownership forcefully.

The Burimbale family, tracing their lineage back to the 1600s, presents a compelling case for their ownership rights, detailing a history of legal battles and broken agreements with the church. Despite possessing a valid title since 1997, they claim persistent harassment and intimidation from individuals linked to the church.

Frank Benon Ndebesa Kamugisha, the son and heir of G.W. Burimbale, currently resides on the disputed land and has actively pursued diplomatic channels to resolve the impasse. However, tensions reached a boiling point when Hon. Mwijukye allegedly mobilized congregants to disrupt construction activities on the site.

Eyewitnesses recount a scene of chaos and violence, with projectiles hurled and physical altercations ensuing between workers and congregants. The clash resulted in minor injuries to both parties, prompting intervention from law enforcement to prevent further escalation.

The Burimbale family condemns Hon. Mwijukye’s alleged role in fomenting discord, accusing him of exploiting religious sentiment to advance personal interests. They decry his flouting of legal processes and peaceful negotiations, highlighting the grave risks posed to the safety and security of all involved.

Calls for a thorough investigation into the incident echo throughout the community, with demands for accountability and justice for those responsible. Amidst simmering tensions, local authorities are urged to prioritize dialogue and adherence to legal frameworks to defuse the volatile situation and safeguard the rights of landowners.

As Buhweju District grapples with the fallout from this bitter confrontation, the episode serves as a stark reminder of the complexities surrounding land ownership disputes and the imperative of resolving grievances through peaceful and lawful means.

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