By Stephen Kasozi Muwambi
KAMPALA, Uganda: Greetings Mr. President, you have been busy visiting scenes of eviction lately. I have also seen your photos in the newspapers standing side by side with victims of land grabbing.
While I appreciate that such gestures by you Mr. President are admirable, I wish to dutifully advise that it alone cannot halt land grabbing. And I don’t want to believe that you don’t know it Mr. President.
I liked it when you visited Lusanja and empathized with locals whose village has since been turned desolate. I also loved it when you offered tents for those people to sleep under. I can’t also forget to mention your fatherly gesture of providing flour and beans to the victims.
Much as you sympathized with the victims, there is no assurance that the so-called ‘mugagga’ behind their eviction won’t return one of these days to grab even the tents themselves. In any case, just a day after you had left Lusanja, the ‘mugagga’ showed up at the Justice Bamugemereire land probe and vowed to reclaim his land at Lusanja from the squatters that you had visited only a day earlier.
Armed with what he termed as an unquestionable land title to the land at Lusanja, the ‘mugagga’ is vowed that he will never compensate any one of the squatters because in his own words: He “duly compensated them”. I wish you were there Mr. President to witness him swearing in the face of your revered Bamugemereire.
In case you don’t know yet Mr. President, members of the police and of the military were deeply involved in the process of evicting the people at Lusanja. Strangely enough, I have not heard you condemning them for going against the government policy of safeguarding land occupants.
True, Mr. President, you provided the victims with tents, but neither did you tell them to rebuild their houses nor have ever given an unequivocal order to the ‘mugagga’ to abandon further plans of using the land.
Justice Bamugemereire is on record telling you how the ‘mugagga’ had, by razing Lusanja, disobeyed an earlier order by the land inquiry not to go ahead with the eviction. Nonetheless, I did not hear Your Excellence asserting the land inquiry authority by calling him to order.
On the contrary, like I have told you, he has since appeared at the inquiry vowing how he is going on with his project of reclaiming the land in question without a care about the injunction Bamugemereire is talking about.
But how can a certain Kiconco dare you Mr. President in the manner he is doing it? Lest Am wrong, I know you as the Ssabalwanyi who overthrew a regime armed with all sorts of arsenal in a record five years. You have since gone on to dispatch a number of warlords to the dustbin of history.
How come then that a certain Kiconco can stand up to you and go back to his bed to sleep soundly? Have you grown so desperate Mr. President, as to be undermined by the Kiconcos of this world? When a decorated war general in Sejusa attempted to grab a government house Sir, you told him to leave and he left. Remember that Sejusa is one of the original 27 NRA rebels but he could not stand up to you when you told him to pack up and leave the government house.
Unless there are invisible hands behind Kiconco, which buzz I don’t want to believe much as the people of Lusanja cited the name of one powerful person, I have no reason to believe that a mere Kiconco who turned up at the land inquiry, in an Ipsum car even, can be that powerful as to stand up to You Sir.
But telling from the fact that Bamugemereire and his interrogators at the inquiry were careful not to bother Kiconco with ‘inconveniencing’ questions that are normally put to other witnesses, I have a feeling that the ‘mugagga’ of Lusanja isn’t alone in this project. Just thinking outside the box!
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