Alleged land grabbers torch ex-minister’s sugarcane plantation | Land Portal
Author(s): 
Philip Wafula
Language of the news reported: 
English

Suspected land grabbers have encroached on the 60-acre piece of land belonging to Henry Kyemba, a career politician and former minister, and torched his sugarcanes plantation.

The land, located in Model Farm Village, Njeru Municipality in Buikwe District, has been used as farmland and is adjacent to the government Njeru stock farm and Lords Meade Vocational Institute.

Mr Mark Mwanda, a grandson to Mr Kyemba, on Thursday said he has been growing sugarcanes on the land for the past five years without any issues until about two years ago when land grabbers started disturbing him.

“I receive calls from caretakers at the farm that armed people from as far as Kampala come to survey the land while placing mark stones; but in most cases when I arrive I find when they have left. I engaged the police at Njeru and the tried to follow up, but they later said my issue was beyond them,” he said.

Mr Mwand added: “In April this year, 40 acres of the sugarcane plantation, equivalent to Shs20m, was set on fire and I immediately notified the police fire brigade and it was put out.”

In May, according to Mr Mwanda, the land grabbers dug a feeder road through the sugarcane plantation, cutting off about six acres from the main plantation.

“On that day, I saw plain-clothed men, with one brandishing a AK-47 assault rifle and he instructed the man driving the grader to drive through the plantation,” he said, adding that he reported the matter to police and the land grabbers stopped but returned after a few weeks.

“About 100 casual workers have since descended on the property and are erecting a boundary wall despite the matter being in court,” he added.

Mr Moses Nabugere Wako, the farm manager, said the land grabbers first struck about three years ago and surveyed an acre before increasing it to three and now six acres.

Mr Mark Isabirye, a guard at the farm, said all efforts to confront the land grabbers have led to his arrest at gunpoint and detention on at least two occasions.

Mr Deus Aheebwe, the acting Njeru District Police Commander, said it is not proper to divulge information on a matter that is in court.

Daily Monitor has since established that Mr Mwanda, represented by Mwebesa and Co Advocates, has filed a civil suit against one Faisal Musiige at the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Njeru.

Efforts to get a comment from Mr Musiige were futile.

 

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