It all started after Twaha Lwakaana, a local businessman and Zeedi Lwakaana, the NRM chairperson for Kibanda Sub County stormed Bozza village and forcefully evicted 50 pastoral families from a 10 acre piece of land.
Bozza village in Kyebisagazi parish in Rakai district was a scene of clashes on Sunday following the eviction of 50 families from a disputed piece of land. It all started after Twaha Lwakaana, a local businessman and Zeedi Lwakaana, the NRM chairperson for Kibanda Sub County stormed Bozza village and forcefully evicted 50 pastoral families from a 10 acre piece of land. However, the decision by the businessmen to evict the families didn’t go down well with members of the affected families, and a fight ensued.
As a result, police opened fire to disperse the angry residents. Joviah Mukangarambi, one of the affected community members says that when they resisted the eviction the two men set about seven houses ablaze leaving their occupant stranded. She identifies residents whose houses were burnt as Livingstone Mugume, Tarsis Ruteisire, James Ndemezo, and Boaz Kanuli. Others are Samuel Kabandize and Mbonizire Rwanyalare. She also alleges that during the scuffle, a police officer hired by Lwakaana to execute the eviction of residents shot John Kakooza in hand.
URN couldn’t independently verify this as police has denied shooting any residents. Livingstone Mugume, one of the affected residents says he lost all his belonging in the fire, adding that Lwakaana also killed his two cows during the deadly clashes. 45-year-old Mugume says that he now stuck with members of his family, without any food and shelter.
He accuses Rakai police of conniving with the businessmen to grab his land, he has occupied since the early 1980’s. Augustine Lwabijwangali, the Kakuuto Sub county Pastoralist Chairperson has condemned the burning of resident’s houses. She says members of the affected families have been left in the cold and are in need of relief assistance.
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Stephen Ssebunya, the Kakuuto LC3 Chairperson blames the clashes on Rakai district land board. Ssebunya says the district land board did not consult the seating tenants on the land before allocating it to the two businessmen.
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Zeedi Lwakaana, the Kibanda sub county NRM Chairman and his brother Twaha Lwakaana insist the disputed land belongs them, but deny shooting any resident. Lwakaana told URN on phone on Monday, that they acquired the disputed land legally from the district land, adding that he tried to evict the squatters peacefully in vain.
Henry Kavuma, the Rakai Deputy DPC says that they have deployed on the disputed land found in Mutukula, near the Uganda-Tanzania prevent renewed clashes. He says that investigations into the land conflicts are ongoing.
mutukula land clashes