Kikuube, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 300 families in Rwengabi village, Kabwoya sub county, Kikuube district are on the verge of being evicted from their ancestral land.
The residents are feuding with William Mugabe, a prominent businessman over 640 acres of land in the area.
Led by Patrick Okwairwoth, the area LCI chairperson, the residents say Mugabe has a title covering 235 hectares that he acquired near their ancestral land in the same village, but he wants to use it to forcefully grab their land measuring 470 acres near his land.
They accused the police and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces officers of allegedly conniving with Mugabe to evict them off their land.
Joseph Oyer, 50, who has lived on the contested piece of land for more than 40 years, says that he was surprised when Mugabe together with soldiers raided the area claiming their entire piece of land.
Isaac Isingoma, a resident questions how Mugabe who approached them as a good neighbour has instead turned against them by grabbing their entire land.
Vincent Alpher Opio, the Kikuube LCV vice chairperson says he has already petitioned the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner-RDC to intervene and also investigate how Mugabe acquired the land in the area.
A copy of the land title seen by URN indicates that Mugabe acquired 235 hectares of land situated on plot 70, block 2 in Rwengabi/Kataba village between 2007 and 2012. He acquired the title for the same land in 2012.
Mugabe could not be reached for a comment because he failed to respond to our repeated phone calls.
In April this year, leaders in Bunyoro sub-region raised a red flag over the increasing existence of fraudulent land titles in the Bunyoro sub-region.
According to the leaders, many land titles in the region were acquired fraudulently hence putting residents on the verge of being evicted from their ancestral land.
The leaders appealed to the Lands ministry to intervene and cancel all the titles acquired fraudulently.
Several brutal and forceful evictions have taken place in the Bunyoro sub-region since 2014. In February 2019, more than 500 families were evicted from their ancestral land in Kyabisagazi I and Kyabisagazi II villages in Kigorobya sub-county, Hoima district.
Four people were killed during the eviction by armed men in uniforms similar to those of the Uganda Peoples Defense forces and the Anti-riot police. The contested land measuring 485 acres was at the centre of a dispute between Edgar Agaba, a businessman in Hoima town and more than 500 families.
To date, the evicted people remain displaced.