Museveni angry at security bosses over gold mines evictions

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Museveni on Point FM in Mubende

President Yoweri Museveni has spoken out on people who have been evicted from Bukwiya in Mubende where they were involved in gold mining activities.

The President, while criticising security personnel for using harsh eviction methods, observed that the claimants in the area were not genuine.

He, however, assured people who are licensed to do gold mining that they would be allowed to proceed with their business.

The President made the comments over the weekend when he featured in a 2-hour live talk show on Point FM radio station in Mubende Municipality, Mubende district.

He also said the same arrangement would be observed in Busia, Kaabong and Buhweju districts.

Mr. Museveni said the Government would not allow landlords to evict bibanja holders and advised bibanja holders to pay their land dues to their landlords.

He promised a visit to Butologo in Mubende district and other areas affected by illegal land evictions.

He revealed that Government would cancel all the illegal land titles and that those perpetrating and harassing people, would be arrested.

Police boss in trouble over Hoima evictions

Meanwhile, the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire-led commission of inquiry into land matters has ordered the Professional Standards Unit to investigate Bernard Akankwasa, the district police commander of Hoima.

The Observer reports that Akankwasa took part in the eviction of 398 households in the western district. The evictees ended up in refugee camps in the district.

Akankwasa was summoned by the commission and appeared on Friday, September 8, after area residents told Justice Bamugemereire that local police officers helped Hoima Sugar Limited to evict about 4,700 people and pave way for a sugar plantation.

“I want you to make a statement about the way you sanctioned the judge’s [restraining] orders. Your statement is going to assist us in establishing whether I’m going to investigate this matter further. I’m going to refer you to the PSU because your level of disobedience of court orders is unacceptable,” Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the chairperson of the commission, ordered during the hearing at the National Archives and Records Centre on Yusuf Lule road.

Akankwasa is accused of deploying police officers to protect Hoima Sugar Ltd officials and facilitating the eviction of a number of families from what they claimed was their customary land.

The 1,300 acres of land under dispute were leased to the late Herbert Rwakiswaza Kimera, a prince in Bunyoro kingdom, for 49 years.

On July 4, 2014, High court judge Justice Simon Byabakama issued a restraining order, directing Kimera not to demolish structures and existing gardens of people on the land.

Akankwasa told the commission that he did not know the origin of the people evicted and currently settled in two IDP camps in Kijayo, Buhanguzi county, his area of jurisdiction.