Uganda Christian University-UCU Holdings limited together with the LCI Chairperson of Kitete in Mukono Municipality, John Jjingo are embroiled in land wrangle.
The disagreement started when Jjingo, a resident at Kitete started claiming ownership of a building housing UCU casual workers at Ntawo still in Mukono Municipality where the university owns a huge chunk of land.
On Monday, Jjingo supported by his family members stormed the university casual workers and forced them out of the house claiming that the State Minister for Lands, Dr. Sam Mayanja while appearing in one radio talk show instructed all tenants who lost their plots to landlords go back and reclaim them.
During the fracas, the university accuse Jjingo’s family for demolishing the house. John Lemi, the manager for Ntawo land at UCU holdings says the chairperson and his family have threatened their workers forcing them to abandon Ntawo farm for their lives.
He also notes that the action may end up inciting more violence given the known background of fights between several tenants and the university as the landlord.
Isa Luwangula, one of the son to Jjingo says vacating their house at Ntawo does not mean that they forgot about it and therefore the university possess no right to occupy it or offer it to its workers.
One of the residents at Ntawo, Mary Babirye says some years back used to see Jjingo coming to inspect the contested house before it was occupied by UCU staff. She also notes that his late husband used to tell her that the Jjingo funded the construction of the contested house.
Although, our efforts to verify claims regarding the issuance of instructions by minister is still unsuccessful, while inspecting land in Mubende Dr Mayanja ordered RDC’s to arrest landlords evicting lawful tenants as well as instructing tenants threatened by landlords to remain on their land as per the presidential directive.
On February 28, President Yoweri Museveni issued a directive prohibiting any eviction even if it is sanctioned by court without the consent and direct observation of the district security committee chaired by RDCs and in direct consultation with the Minister of lands.
Mukono Deputy District Resident Commissioner, Henry Kitambula says they have currently not sanctioned any eviction within Mukono Municipality. He notes that their office received the information about the fracas at Ntawo and they already instructed police to maintain the seating tenant (University) as investigations go on.
The university owns one square mile of land at Ntawo, however since 2016, when the university tried embarking on process of developing the land, they faced a strong opposition from encroachers who settled on the land.