UGANDA, Kikuube | Real Muloodi News | Security personnel have arrested five suspects for allegedly killing 40 cows and burning four houses in a mob justice incident over a land dispute in Kikuube District.
The suspects, all residents of Bwera Village in Kyangwali sub-county in Kikuube, have been identified as Godwin Munanura, Nelson Muhairwe, George Kamuhanda, Aston Muhwezi, and Kellen Kembabazi. The police are still hunting for more suspects.
The violence started following the arrest of five locals by the State House Land Protection Unit on August 3, 2022, after Pastor George Baguma of Bwera Miracle Centre had filed a petition to evict the people that he says encroached on his land.
The Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Kikuube District, Amlan Tumusiime, said Pastor Baguma led the Statehouse land protection unit officials to the area where they arrested the individuals, who accuse Pastor Baguma of forcefully grabbing their land.
“The arrests followed a petition filed by Mr Baguma demanding the eviction of the residents from the disputed land. Residents first blocked the road for hours to stop the State House Land Protection Unit officials from taking their colleagues prompting them to fire live bullets in the air to disperse them,” the Kikuube RDC said.
It is alleged that after the State House officials left, the enraged residents raided Pastor George Baguma’s farm and killed over forty cows and burnt four houses belonging to the Pastor over the land dispute that started in 2021.
The residents of Bwera Village accuse him of grabbing their ancestral land measuring about 300 acres which they say they have been occupying for years.
However, Pastor Baguma opposes the claims of Bwera residents, saying he legally acquired the land. According to the Pastor, a group of people led by his brother George Kabuhanda encroached on his land.
Pastor Baguma later acquired a court order to evict the people from his land, but the group vehemently refused to vacate, forcing him to seek the intervention of the State House Land Protection Unit.
Pastor Baguma also adds that one of his casual workers went missing during the attack on his farm by the residents. Several properties, including two motorcycles and bicycles, were also destroyed.
James Kyomuhendo, a resident of Bwera Village, accuses Pastor Baguma of using the police and soldiers to grab their land.
Julius Hakiza, the spokesperson of the Albertine Region, said that investigations have kicked off concerning the violent destruction of Baguma’s houses and the killing of his animals.
The RDC blamed the violence on the State House land protection unit, accusing them of going to effect the arrest of the suspects without telling the Kikuube district security committee, which might have assisted.
He also criticised the community for taking the law into their own hands, saying that he was repeatedly irritated by the locals to leave the court to handle this situation, but they have persisted.
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