The State Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Princess Persis Namuganza has said that the ruthless actions of demolishing Ndeeba Church and eviction of people from Lusanja land tarnished Uganda’s image internationally.
The Bukono County Member of Parliament made the revelation on Monday while appearing before the Adhoc committee of Parliament which is currently investigating the compensation of Shs7.6 billion to Medard Kiconco of Lusanja land and Dodovico Mwanje of Ndeeba Church.
In September, 2018, Kiconco demolished over forty houses on Lusanja land leaving over 350 people without a place to live. The demolition occurred after a chief magistrate ordered the eviction of everyone living on the 3.89 -acre land where those homes stood. The order came after Kiconco, a local engineer, claimed ownership of the land.
Also in August last year, St Peter’s Church, Ndeeba was demolished during curfew hours after the ruling of the court which indicated that the land where the church was had been fraudulently registered in the names of Bishop Danistan Nsubuga, Rev. Yuda Kitaka, and Esau Kizito, thus ordering the church to vacate. The court ruled that Dodovico was the rightful owner.
Namuganza informed the committee that the two incidents have worsened Uganda’s reputation and President Yoweri Museveni was forced to write an explanation to the world Anglican religious leaders. She added, the two incidents shouldn’t have happened to Ugandans because the country’s image was badly tarnished.
“Over 300 people were evicted from Lusanja, this badly affected our image since many people spoke against the eviction in international land-related conferences. While on a trip to Botswana, for a technical committee on land management in Africa, a Minister from Eswatini, formerly Swaziland rose and said Uganda cannot sit on the committee because it has failed to manage land conflicts. On this committee, Uganda did not get representation because of the two incidences. The chairperson of the committee Veronica Eragu Bichetero emphasized that the Lusanja issue was a matter of human rights.”
Namuganza added that Uganda has the best land laws that countries have used and managed to sort out their land disputes. Unfortunately Ugandan government has failed to implement their laws. “Ghana is one of the countries that came here to benchmark on issues of land and have implemented the same but they were shocked to see on news Ugandans merciless evicted.”
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