Nadduli Protests Arrest of Evicted Residents Top story

2462 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
The news of the arrest of the residents, prompted Nadduli to stop Luweero police station accompanied by the LC 5 Chairman, Ronald Ndawula and local leaders demanding the immediate release of the suspects.

Al-Haji Abdul Nadduli, the Minister Without Portfolio has stormed Luweero Central Police station to protest the arrest and detention of residents accused of defying eviction orders by National Forestry Authority.

 

At least nine people were picked up on Wednesday for defying orders from NFA to vacate Mbaale Central forest reserve land. The nine were part of 528 residents accused by the authorities of encroaching on the forest reserve land.

 
 
Early this month, NFA ordered the squatters to vacate the forest land and issued them with an ultimatum, which expired on Monday this week. However, most of the residents declined to vacate the land, saying they inherited it from their grandparents.
 

As a result, a team of Anti-Riot Police officers led by Jimmy Owona, the Enforcement Officer in National Forest Authority stormed Mbaale village in Butuntumula Sub County on Wednesday to forcedly evict the residents and met stiff resistance.
 

 
This prompted the officers to pick up some of the residents and lock them up at Luweero Central Police Station. The suspects include among others Florence Mutesi, Vincent Sserwadda, John Basirika, Juma Agaba, Twaha Hassa and Edison Ssentongo.
 
 
The news of the arrest of the residents, prompted Nadduli to stop Luweero police station accompanied by the LC 5 Chairman, Ronald Ndawula and local leaders demanding the immediate release of the suspects.


He warned the Luweero District Police Commander, Benson Byaruhanga Mworozi and NFA officials against harassing people who shed blood to usher the ruling National Resistance Movement government into power through National Resistance Army War of 1981-1986.



Byaruhanga denied his involvement in the eviction and summoned the operations Commander identified as Mugisha and Jimmy Owona to explain to Nadduli about their operation.
 

Nadduli blasted the duo for evicting people without compensation, saying it is unfair. He cited several forest reserves in Luweero, Nakaseke and Mityana districts, which have been degazetted in favor of residents.


The officers bowed to pressure and released the suspects without charge. Ronald Ndawula, the Luweero LC V Chairperson, says they also agreed to halt the eviction to allow Nadduli to consult the Water and Environment Ministry on the matter.


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Ndawula drover the residents to their village but they were blocked by police from accessing their homes, saying they were evicted. By the time of filing this story, Ndawula had pitched camp along the road with the affected residents and their local leaders.


Some of the residents insisted that they should be allowed to access their homes since they have nowhere to go.



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Jimmy Owona, the Enforcement Officers from NFA asked the affected people to look for where to go, saying they had settled in a protected area. 



In 2017, the former Luweero Resident District Commissioner, Hussein Katende Kibazo blocked attempts by NFA to evict the families, saying the move was unfair and could trigger insecurity in the area.
 

 

About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.