UGANDA, Wakiso | Real Muloodi News | Michael Katende has appealed to President Museveni and the appropriate authorities for help in a land grabbing saga which has left one of his employees dead and six others seriously injured, in what he describes as a scheme allegedly orchestrated by Charles Kyagaba, infamous throughout Wakiso as a notorious land fraudster.
Michael claims that on September 8, 2022, Charles Kyagaba’s associates invaded his property and assaulted and killed one of his employees, while injuring six others.
According to Fred Kazibwe, Michael Katende’s property manager, the name of the employee that was murdered was Robert Ssonko. Others were put on life support in serious condition at Mulago National Referral Hospital.
They claim that the assault took place on two acres of land owned by Michael Katende in Bunkabira, Nsagu Sub-county, Entebbe in Wakiso District.
The attack, which occurred the day after Charles Kyagaba’s agents were released from police custody, appears to be retaliation for the arrest.
Their arrest had been ordered by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit after Michael reported incidents involving attempted land grabbing, as well as attacks on and injuries to Michael’s employees on several occasions.
According to Fred Kazibwe, the night before the incident, the Kampala Metropolitan Commander KMP, Stephen Tanui allegedly gave the order to release Simon Mugume, Nicholas Nyombe, and Kalifani Shafik, who he claims are Charles Kyagaba’s accomplices.
Kazibwe alleges the trio were released by Entebbe Police, despite the Chief Resident State Attorney asking the Police to take them to court the following morning.
Furthermore, Kazibwe claims that immediately after the attack began, they called the Regional Police Commander (RPC) KMP-South Godfrey Achira and the DPC Kajjansi for help.
However, despite the Kajjansi Police being only 15 minutes away, they did not respond until after 1 PM, some 4 1/2 hours later, causing the victims to suffer hours while the assailants tormented them with machetes and clubs. Kazibwe claims the assailants acted knowing they were under police protection.
“We immediately tried to report the murder and carnage to Nsagu Police (which is under Entebbe Police and has jurisdiction). But we were told that the RPC KMP-South and Sulait Kitaka (the DPC Kajjansi – who legally has no jurisdiction over the area) had allegedly called them and threatened them not to register the case,” said Kazibwe.
He further claims that after picking up the victims late, the DPC Kajjansi transported them to Mulago Hospital. However, despite Mulago being only 40 minutes away from the spot, they did not arrive until around 4 PM, exposing them to over 3 hours of further suffering.
Michael also accuses the Police Land Department of of obstructing his attempts to reclaim his land that he says was seized by Charles Kyagaba and his accomplices. He has since appealed to President Museveni to assist him in ending his torment and to help him to get back his land.
How the Conflict Started
Michael Katende, a Ugandan who studies and lives in the United States, paid USh90 million for a 2-acre plot of land from mzee John Katende.
Previously, the land had been mortgaged at Equity Bank by mzee John Katende, who had asked Michael to pay off the remaining USh4 million in the bank to obtain a mortgage release letter and ownership title which he did.
Two occupants of the land who had previously used it for agriculture were compensated to leave, after which Michael walled it off. Michael then returned to the United States, leaving the land in the care of Fred Kazibwe whom he hired as his property manager.
Michael later received tales from his property manager of persons claiming possession of his land before the Covid-19 epidemic. Following the fencing, these individuals encroached on his land and fled with supplies worth USh32 million.
He reported the crime to the Kajjansi police, and some of his stolen items were recovered from the grabbers’ homes. However, Michael claims they were not imprisoned due to their contacts with senior police commanders.
Michael requested help in a letter to Haji Noor Njuki Mbabali, the Resident District Commissioner of Entebbe at the time.
A meeting was convened at the Kampala Metropolitan South Regional Headquarters in Katwe, however the land grabbers did not attend.
After determining that the four land grabbers lacked any certified documentation to show their ownership of the contested land, the RDC issued a warning to the land grabbers to back off the land and directed the police to enforce the same.
However, during the epidemic in 2020 and 2021, however, land grabbers exploited the lockdown and encroached on the land.
After his efforts to remedy the situation went no where, Michael wrote to the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, requesting intervention.
The land grabbers were apprehended and charged at Entebbe Court but were subsequently freed on bail.
However, as soon as they were released, they restarted their operations with the assistance of Charles Kyagaba, who has also recently been detained.
The Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police was contacted and he said: “he wasn’t well versed with the particulars of the allegations.”
Allegations that Police Commanders are Conniving with Charles Kyagaba
Charles Kyagaba’s reputation as a land thief in Entebbe and Wakiso Districts precedes him. He was recently detained by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit in Ziru, Kajjansi Town Council, for stealing land belonging to Ms Margaret Kyomuhangi. He was prosecuted at Entebbe court and confined to Kitalya Prison until September 19, 2022.
That was not his first victim. He has been accused of grabbing land for years, and apparently the law seems to have been powerless to stop him – until recently.
According to a police officer at Bwebajja who requested anonymity, “Our commanders have been struggling with who to follow. The RDC in Entebbe would offer different directives, the RPC also comes with different ones. At one time, both the then RDC and the RPC agreed and gave us illegal directives with a court case still ongoing on a piece of land situated in Kisubi.”
On such instructions, it has been claimed that Achiria has severely degraded personnel in uniform and ignored their duties in the administration of justice against land fraud while sheltering conmen and land fraudsters like Charles Kyagaba.
Kyagaba, along with a slew of others, demolished a house and numerous other Kyomuhangi assets. According to a source on the scene, the people who were detained were in continual communications with the RPC.
“We all know the meaning of RPC. It clearly means the Regional Police Commander and I do not expect them to call someone who is not from the same region,” the source said.
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