The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen Kale Kayihura has suspended four Senior police officers in Mubende district including the Regional Police Commander (RPC) for Wamala, Christopher Barugahare, the Officer-in-charge of Criminal Investigations (OC CID), Swalit Dauda, the Officer-in-charge (OC) of Lands, Mukama Hakeem, and the Acting District Police Commander (DPC), Magola Charles for their alleged involvement in land grabbing in the district.
Kale Kayihura was on Friday attending a meeting organized by State Minister for KCCA, Benny Namugwanya and the State Minister for Lands, Namuganza Persis held in Mubende district. The meeting held in Butorogo, Buwekula sub-county in Mubende was aimed at finding solutions to the growing cases of displacement and land grabbing in the district.
Local residents who attended the meeting revealed to the Police chief that a landlord identified as Princess Naava had illegally evicted them from their land with the support of some of his police officers. The disputed land is situated in Kilwanyi village in Butorogo sub-county.
It is upon this background that the IGP immediately suspended the three Police officers and further promised to camp in Mubende for the whole of next week to address all the problems associated with land in the district.
The same land dispute had last year caused the President to visit the district and directed for the suspension of Mubende district RDC, Florence Beyunga.
A recent report on land grabbing in Mubende District named some officers of the army, police and the judiciary as perpetrators of violent displacement of residents and land grabbing in the district.
The report conducted by WitnessRadio.org, a non-governmental organisation involved in documenting land conflicts in Uganda revealed that UPDF officers and police connived with private investors to evict people from the sub-counties of Kitumbi, Bukuyu, Madadu and Nalutuntu.
It stated that guns, money and power were responsible for the grabbing of over 1,975, 834 hectares of land affecting 265, 502 households in Mubende between September 2016 and November 2017.
Mubende district is among the districts with the most prominent cases of land related fraud that are currently before the ongoing commission of inquiry led by Justice Catherine Bamugemererire.
Last year, the Commission quizzed two senior army officers; Brig George Gyagenda Kibirango and Maj Eric Kigamboha about their involvement in the eviction of nearly 2,000 residents from about four square miles of land in Butorogo, Buwekula sub-county, in Mubende.
The complainants alleged that Maj Kigamboha colluded with a one Naava Namutebi to take over ownership of an estate belonging to a one Henry Kaaya.
In another case in Mubende, Public Service Minister, Muruli Mukasa was also accused of grabbing land measuring to 12 square miles from which more than 2,000 households were unlawfully evicted from 9 villages in Nalutuntu sub-county.
Aggrieved residents testified before the commission that Muruli Mukasa connived with Alam Group Limited to evict them off the property.