Attorney General Reveals Lusanja Eviction was Erroneous, MPs Demand Compensation

Attorney General, William Byaruhanga.

Members of Parliament (MP) have tasked government to immediately consider compensating the people of Lusanja in Gayaza that were illegally evicted under wrong court orders as admitted by government.

The legislators’ reactions followed a report to Parliament by the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga who revealed a number of irregularities that have so far been investigated following the evictions of people in Lusanja in October.

The Attorney General noted that during the court process of the land civil case No. 7 of 2017, Kiconco Medard Versus Opendo Patrick and 16 others, was handled unprofessionally by the magistrates and the Court officers. He also revealed that the said officers have since been put under disciplinary measures by the Judiciary.

The officers implicated include Her Worship Nasambu Ester Rebeca and His Worship Rwatooro Baker, the Deputy Registrar who issued a court order to Kirunda Moses TIA Spear Link Auctioneers & Court Bailiff for demolition.

“Rt. Hon. Speaker, the office of the Chief Registrar did investigate the conduct of Her Worship Nsambu Rebecca Ester while handling Land Civil Case No. 7 of 2017 Kiconco Medard Versus Opendo Patrick and 16 others and found that the Chief Magistrate lacked jurisdiction to handle the matter,” Byaruhanga said.

He said that the office of the Chief Justice and the Principal Judge have already intervened in the matter and the file has since been forwarded by the Principal Judge to the High Court Land Division for revision under section 83 of the Civil Procedure Act, Cap 71.

However, the statement by the Attorney General caused discontent among MPs who faulted government for sitting on such irregularities.

“This House is asking you, why you have not taken action against a bailiff who acted illegally and at night against the rules of Court. Why you have not taken action against the police that escorted the bailiff,” Kadaga asked.

“Knowing that the execution was done in the wrong place, what has government done?” she further added.

Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi told the House that the people of Lusanja are more interested in being compensated for their demolished properties. He as well as asked that government safeguards the evictees as they reconstruct their houses under the self-help initiative that politicians in the area have announced.

Masaka Municipality MP, Mathias Mpuuga moved a motion without notice ordering government to take responsibility of compensating the people in Lusanja.

“Government having conceded the illegality of the demolition of people in Lusanja, let it move to compensate the people, reinstate them, build their homes, offer them food and prosecute all individuals and agencies that were involved,” Mpuuga said.

However, the Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda requested for a period of one week to allow the Attorney General report back to the House with a comprehensive report before a final decision is taken by Parliament.

The Speaker however ruled to appoint a group of legislators to formally organize a motion that shall be debated by the House tomorrow for a decision to be taken.

On Tuesday morning, the Spokesperson of the Judiciary confirmed that the court order had been issued for the people of Sekayonyi zone in Mprererwe and not Lusanja.

On October 12, men working for Kiconco, a business man and proprietor of engineering firm, Leximan Ltd, who claims to be the rightful owner of the land razed down the houses that were home to over 200 people in Farm zone, Lusanja.

Buildings were all brought to the ground by the men who were being protected by Police, leaving the occupants and children to leave in makeshift tents. Last month, the affected persons delivered a petition to the Speaker of Parliament challenging the illegal eviction they were subjected to.

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