The pastoralists occupy a 400 acre disputed piece of land that is found in Kozza village near Mutukula town council in Kakuuto sub county of Rakai district.
More than 200 pastoralists facing eviction in Rakai district have renewed protests against their forthcoming forceful eviction. The pastoralists occupy a 400 acre disputed piece of land that is found in Kozza village near Mutukula town council in Kakuuto sub county of Rakai district. Recently three businessmen identified as Twaha Lwakaana, Dirisa Lwakaana and Zeedi Kayonde, the Kibanda Sub county NRM Chairman attempted to evict the pastoralists from the disputed land saying they had bought it from Rakai district land board.
However, the pastoralists resisted the eviction leading to deadly clashes, in which the businessmen burnt down seven houses belonging to the residents. As a result, police arrested the businessman and charged them with arson, but released them on police bond under unclear circumstances. The businessmen immediately ordered the affected residents to vacate the land or face forceful eviction. The renewed threat of eviction by the businessmen has drawn angry reactions from the pastoralists. Tarasisi Lutaisire, one of the affected pastoralists says that they have decided to stage protests after Kayonde used Mutukula prison warders to evict them again.
Lutaisire claims that Kayonde deploys heavily armed prisons warders every night threatening to shoot them. Lutaisire says as a result, they have decided to stage peaceful protests to warn Kayonde and his group against tampering with their land. Geoffrey Lwapapa, another affected pastoralist accuses prison warders of conniving with the businessmen to grab their land.
He says that they are ready to fight for their land come what may despite the fact that the businessman have started ferrying polls to fence it off. Jovia Mukangalambe, another resident claims that they are living under extreme fear after inmates deployed from Mutukula to erect the fence around the disputed land threatened to rape them.
She says they are demanding for police protection because they fear the inmates could perform sexual crimes against them since they are defenseless. Zeedi Lwakaana, one of the implicated businessmen declined to comment on the matter, when our reporter contacted him on their renewed plans to evict the residents. Alex Twebezi, Rakai District Police Commander says that plans are underway to survey the land as investigations to establish its ownership continues. He has also promised to investigate claims that some prisons warders and police attached to Mutukula have been involved in attempts to evict the pastoralists.