• Sun. Jun 11th, 2023

Landowner Wins Case but Serere Officials Deny Him Access to Land

UGANDA, Serere Real Muloodi News | Moses Omiat’s six-year legal battle over the ownership of 150 acres of land in Kasilo Village, Kamod Parish, Serere District, should have come to an end when Soroti High Court judge Henry Adonyo declared him the lawful owner of the land in 2022.

However, almost a year later, Mr Omiat claims several top district officials have denied him access to his land and have also continued to trespass upon it, leaving him frustrated and unable to use his property.

Mr Omiat inherited the land from his grandfather, and in 2016 sued 11 people for trespassing on his ancestral land.

In June 2022, the High Court declared Mr Omiat the lawful owner of the land, granting him an eviction order to remove the trespassers. The court also fined Serere District local government USh320m for legal costs, and for the destruction of trees on the property.

Despite the court order, Mr Omiat says top district officials, including Resident District Commissioner Harriet Nakamya and LCV Chairperson Stephen Ochola, have continued to allow others to trespass, cut down trees, make charcoal, and host a weekly market on the property.

“The Serere RDC has persistently sworn and vowed that she will not implement the eviction order. The same RDC has persistently interfered in execution of the court order, claiming she has a presidential directive to do so,” Mr Omiat claims

In December last year, RDC Nakamya, while addressing squatters on the said piece of land, declared she would not to allow Mr Omiat to evict them seeing the occupants have lived on the contested land for a long time.

“I will not allow Omiat to evict any person even though there is a court order,” she said.

On April 9, Ms Nakamya reaffirmed her position, insisting that she will stand her ground to protect the squatters on the land.

“It’s not true that I have seen the copy of the court judgment. I only heard of it, but as RDC, I have to oversee security in the district and there is a presidential directive, which doesn’t allow evicting people from land just like that,” Ms Nakamya said.

Omiat’s frustration with the district officials is palpable. He also accuses Nakamya and Ochola of issuing threats that he will not be able to use the land, even though he has a court order in his favor.


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