By Mubiru Ivan
On Tuesday, October 16, President Yoweri Museveni paid a courtesy call to Lusanja Parish in Wakiso District. A few days earlier, bailiffs, accompanied by police raided the usually quiet village and razed down about 350 houses sitting on 9.6 acres. Seventy families were left homeless in the process. The number of affected people was put at about 550 people. About 200 more houses faced destruction, according to Sekanyonyi Zone LC1 Chairman, Fred Kanyike.
The bailiffs were reportedly working on the orders of a one Medard Kiconco, who has previously been cited in illegal evictions in Mubende, Hoima and Kayunga.
While addressing the gathering, President Museveni according to the Constitution of Uganda, the law on land is very clear and stipulates that a person who was on a piece of land for 12 years by the time that Constitution was promulgated, is a rightful owner. The Constitution also says that a person who was on land after 1983 is a bona-fide occupant/squatter who holds a right to negotiate and dialogue with the land owner for settlement.
“Even an illegal occupant on the land should be allowed possible negotiations to vacate the land normally,” the President, who stressed that had stepped into their eviction matters as a freedom fighter, said.
He promised to compensate all those who had lost their property, before ordering the Office of Prime Minister Office to provide shelter, food relief and other necessary contingencies to the victims as government assesses the value of the property destroyed.
On Wednesday, OPM donated 60 bags of maize flour, 20 bags of beans, blankets and other items to the victims.
But not everyone is thrilled by the prospect of wasting taxpayers money to pay for the deeds of a ‘faceless’ Kiconco.
Angry Ugandans took to social media, to call for the apprehension of Kiconco.
“If it is found that a one Kiconco wrongfully or illegally demolished and evicted more than 350 families in Lusanja, Nangabo subcounty, Wakiso district, the government shall compensate the victims. Why shouldn’t Kiconco be held liable instead?” Andrew Ssegawa queried on facebook yesterday.
“Who is Kiconco,who does he or she work for,why would tax payers pay for his or her illegal actions, Mr. President waliwo ebyana n’abaana?” Journalist Julius Ssenkandwa asked.
another journalist,Kenneth Lukwago Anderson also asked; “Who is this land grabber Kiconco?? Why should my taxes be used to compensate for his illegal acts?? Mr President before that rushed compensation have Kiconcoarrested.”
One of the responses to this query came from Wafula Ogutu who offered that Kiconco could be another Bassajja to be used and a conduit to steal and launder our taxpayers money.
“One day the truth will come out,” Oguttu wrote.
We hope the truth comes out early enough before other people lose property and lives.