The State Minister for Lands Sam Mayanja has ordered for immediate arrest of a landlord for demolishing a house to forcefully evict a family of six members from a disputed piece of land.
The affected family headed by Stephen Mugambwa, a resident of Kimegeredde cell in Semuto town council in Nakaseke district has occupied the land for 48 years. Mugambwa, a veteran in the 1981-1986 liberation war is embroiled in a land wrangle with Sula Serunjogi, a former Resident District Commissioner and National Resistance Movement-NRM mobiliser.
Mugambwa, 66, settled on 6.74 acres of the said land in 1974 after inheriting it from his father Colombani Mukasa. However, on December 14, 2021, Sula Serunjogi under the protection of security personnel raided Mugambwa’s home with graders, cutting down the plantation and razing part of the building, accusing him of trespass.
Serunjogi adds that he had offered to give Mugambwa two acres of the same land to accommodate his family, but he turned down the offer.
Mayanja visited the affected family on Thursday and ordered the District Police Commander to arrest Sula Serunjogi on charges of malicious damage to property and criminal trespass and be forced to reconstruct the house which he illegally demolished.
Nakaseke District Police Commander Ben Nuwamanya Kashumbusha said that Police had earlier arrested Serunjogi but the State Attorney declined to sanction charges against him. Instead, the state ordered more investigations into the cases and granted him a police bond.
Nuwamanya added that with the new Minister’s directive, the bond will be cancelled.
Stephen Mugambwa welcomed the Minister’s directive saying that Serunjogi has harassed him for so long.
Nakaseke Deputy Resident District Commissioner John Kaddu said that Serunjogi was invited to attend a meeting with the Minister but he declined. Kaddu accused Serunjogi of acting with impunity and using the Luwero Chief Magistrate court to fraudulently evict Mugambwa.
In his earlier interview with URN, Serunjogi said he dragged Mugambwa to Luwero Magistrate court for trespassing on his land and the case was decided ex-parte before he was ordered to pay court costs. Serunjogi added that he since sold the entire land and castigated Mugambwa for rejecting an offer where he was given two acres of land with a title.
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