Private Developer Exhumes Graves in Masaka Cemetary

2371 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Peter Kambugu, the area councilor who witnessed the incident says that, the tomb raiders first slaughtered chicken and the started grading the cemetery.

Police is hunting for unidentified businessman for exhuming graves in Masaka municipal cemetery to paveway for redevelopment. The businessman stormed Masaka Municipal cemetery in the wee hours of Tuesday morning with bulldozers and cleared several graves leaving human remains on the surface. The cemetery seats on a three acre piece of land located at Kamelampango village in Kijabweemi trading Center along Masaka-Mbarara Highway.  Peter Kambugu, the area councilor who witnessed the incident says that, the tomb raiders first slaughtered chicken before they started grading the cemetery.
Kambugu says that, shocked by the actions of the group, he intervened to question the developers who had authorized their action. The councilor claims that he tried to stop the destruction of the graves but the group went ahead to grade the cemetery and left several human remains on the surface. Kambugu pins Olet Sarafino, the Masaka Physical Planner and Peter Ssenkungu, the Masaka Land Board chief on the illegal allocation of the cemetery.

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Godfrey Kayemba, the Mayor Masaka Municipality has camped at the cemetery to protest against the takeover. Kayemba says the attempted takeover of the cemetary is illegal because his council has never approved the disposal of the land. He says he has opened a case at Masaka central police station against the illegal takeover of the cemetery.
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Daniel Mulongo, a neighbor to the cemetery claims that the exhumation of decomposing human bodies has left a huge stench in the area forcing many residents out of their homes. He says that they are worried of a possible outbreak of diseases resulting from the abandoned decomposing bodies. Mulondo wants the authorities to evict all encroachers on the cemetery land.

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Peter Ssenkungo, the Masaka Land Board Chairperson told URN that he was not aware of the disposal of the cemetery land adding that, he has not received any application for the cemetery land. Godfrey Muhebwa, the Masaka District Police Commander says they have launched investigations into the incident. He says they have started hunting for the people who graded the cemetery and exposed human remains.
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By the time of filing this story, Masaka municipality was in the process of reburying the human remains.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.