Businessman Threatens to Evict Two Villages in Sembabule Top story

2044 Views Sembabule, Uganda

In short
Ssensarire claims that the businessman identified and compensated some vulnerable residents on the contested land, whom he is currently using to oppress the other occupants.

At least 150 people in Kisonko and Kabulangiti villages in Sembabule town council are on the verge of being evicted from their homes. 

City businessman, James Luviima has given the occupants an ultimatum of eight months to pay him for the land or vacate it.

Raphael Kabaliisa, one of those served with the notices, says they are living in fear of eviction because they are not certain where to get the money to pay for the land.

Kabaliisa says many of them have occupied the land for decades and were surprised to see someone emerging to claim ownership.
 

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Paul Ssensarire and Hosea Kakinda, the Kabulangiti village Vice Chairperson and Kisonko Defense Secretary respectively, say Luviimba has been meeting some unsuspecting residents secretly for the last three years and successfully manipulating them into signing dubious tenancy agreements.
 
Ssensarire claims that the businessman identified and compensated some vulnerable residents on the contested land, whom he is currently using to oppress the other occupants. The officials say residents are now living in fear and have called for government intervention.  

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Luviiima has not yet commented as he couldn't be reached. His agents told URN that he was too busy. But Jude Kasekende, the Sembabule Town Council LC III Chairperson, says Luviima introduced himself to the local authorities as the new landlord in 2016 claiming that he had bought the land legally.

He accordingly entered into formal agreements with some occupants who willingly accepted to be compensated after failing to pay for their plots of land.
 
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Asked whether the land transaction followed the due legal process, Kasekende said the land was sold off by vulnerable elderly women who paid less attention to legalities.
 
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Mathias Kintu Musoke, the Sembabule Resident District Commissioner has promised to intervene in the matter and investigate it thoroughly. In December 2018, President Yoweri Museveni issued a directive stopping the eviction of lawful and bonafide occupants without approval from the Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister.