A group of people in Kijulujulu village in Bukomansimbi, Masaka this morning invaded the home of the former Mayor of Masaka town and killed his cows.
The mob was part of a group of residents of Kijulujulu, who are angry that cattle belonging to the former Mayor, Gerald Ssemwogerere, are allowed to rampage through their fields, destroying their crops. Ssemwogerere has a herd of more than 200 cows. For many months people in Kijulujulu have appealed to him to control them to no avail.
In retaliation a gang of men armed with clubs and panga invaded Ssemwogerere's farm last night. They slaughtered his cattle and destroyed his fields. The plunder continued until a unit to teargas-wielding policemen shot at them, sending them fleeing.
The Masaka District Police Commander, Moses Mwanga, says the anti-riot police will remain at the former mayor's far because of reports that it may be invaded again. He says he has called for an urgent meeting with the affected families to resolve the conflict over their eviction.
No one has been arrested for last night's raid.
Edward Ssenabulya, the LC3 chairperson of Kijulujulu, says more than 1,200 families are affected by Ssemwogerere's failure to tame his herds. He says that without food from their small subsistence farms, residents are doomed to starve.
Ssenabulya claims that the conflict with Gerald Ssemwogerere began a while ago. He says the former mayor's cattle keepers are armed with guns. In past disagreements with residents, the cattle keepers would beat and threaten to kill anyone who accused them of trespass.
Ssemwogerere refuses to comment on the eviction or last night's occurrences. His farm manager, Ben Walugembe, says people's whose fields were destroyed by the cows will be compensated.