Retired UPDF Officer, LandLord Beaten Up in Violent Masaka Land Clashes

3777 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Trouble started after Namugera allegedly defecated in the community well with intentions of stopping residents from using it after he sold off the land to Moses Kakooza, the Buwunga sub county NRM chairperson.

Police have deployed at the home of Lt. John Matovu, a retired UPDF soldier and Hajji Sula Namugera, a land lord in Buwunga Sub County in Masaka district to stop a possible attack by residents. Residents are baying for the blood of the duo for allegedly stealing their food, land grabbing and defecating in a community well.

On Wednesday evening, angry residents armed with machetes and sticks attacked the home of both men and roughed them up. Trouble started after Namugera allegedly defecated in the community well with intentions of stopping residents from using it after he sold off the land to Moses Kakooza, the Buwunga sub county NRM chairperson. 

It is alleged that children who went to fetch water from the community well on Sunday found it soiled with human waste as Namugera watched from a distance. Annet Nalwoga, the Kaseta LC1 Chairperson says they tasked Namugera to explain why he had done such an abomination but he only told them to stop using the well because he had sold off the land.

She says that Namugera also deployed some youths who started beating up whoever attempted to access the well on Sunday. As a result, angry residents convened a meeting on Wednesday and resolved to expel John Matovu and Sula Namugera. Francis Kimuli, the Buwunga Sub county LC3 Chairperson residents attacked the two men and beat them up sparking off clashes. He says residents also attempted to set their homes ablaze.

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Baker Nsubuga, a resident of Kaseta says they were surprised to see Namugera and his brother fencing off the land and stopping them from accessing the community well. Nsubuga says the land belongs to their elder brother Badru Ssembatya who acquired it from their late father. He says the decision by Namugera to fence off the community well and sell off the land left them without any source of water sparking off tension in the area.
Ssembatya claims that Matovu and his brother Namugera raided his home and attempted to set it on fire accusing him of illegally occupying their land, claim he dismisses saying he inherited the land from his late father. Willy Lubega, the officer in charge of Buwunga police station says they have deployed to prevent the homes of both men.

Lubega also says police is investigating the allegations against the duo. However, Namugera denies claims that he defecated in a community well saying that, the allegations are intended to destroy his image in society so as to deter him from reclaiming his land. Namugera also claims that he inherited the disputed land from his father.

Lt. John Matovu Magamaga, the retired UPDF officer who is accused of armed robbery, forgery and terrorizing residents insists he is innocent. Matovu says that he got the LC1 stamp he uses in land transaction with authorization from Owor Odoi, the former Masaka RDC. By the time of filing this story, heavily armed anti riot police was still on standby to quell any violence.


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.