Juliet Najjuma Senkoole, the Resident District Commissioner of Kalangala has blocked the eviction of over 100 residents on a contested piece of land in Bujumba County.
Senkoole made the directive on Saturday during a meeting between the affected residents and Nsamba Lubega, who claims ownership of the land. The disputed land covers 61.256 hectares in Bujumba and Buyoga villages in Bujumba county.
Lubega says he bought over 60 hectares from Bena Nabisinya in 2017. Nabisinya died in 2018.
However, the occupants say that Nabisinya introduced them to Lubega in 2017 as bibanja holders.
Meanwhile, ten individuals claim that Nabisinja sold them portions of the land. But Lubega is claiming ownership of the entire land covering 61 hectares and says he does not recognize the bibanja holders and ten people claiming ownership of parts of the land.
Senkoole blocked the eviction until the dispute is resolved. She says Lubega, as a new land owner has been threatening to evict all the occupants and has regarded them as trespassers.
Prossy Namuddu says Lubega has been sending armed men to threaten the occupants with eviction.
Imerida Kafumbire, the Buyoga village woman representative, says when Lubega had just bought the land, he met the tenants and agreed that each would pay rent. But with time, he rejected rent payments, saying all occupants should vacate.
Kafumbire says Lubega wants to also chase away the children of the late Edward Luzzi who sold the disputed land to Nabisinya.
Lubega told the meeting chaired by the RDC that he told the occupants to pay rent through his company but they refused. He added that the tenants have never recognized him as the new landowner.
Pascal Kigula says he and nine other individuals bought land from Nabisinya and have copies of the sales agreements but Lubega is also claiming their portion. As a result, Kigula says he put a caveat on the land last month.
But Lubega says he is not aware of the ten residents who allegedly bought portions of the land.
Rajab Ssemakula, the LCV chairperson Kalangala told the occupants that leaders and RDC Senkoole will ensure the dispute is resolved. Ssemakula says Nabisinya, got the land from her brother Edward Luzzi as part of the inheritance in 2003.
Senkoole says the boundaries on the disputed land will be opened to resolve the issue of ownership.
She says Lubega should conduct a fresh survey on the land because the district land officer, occupants, and office of the President will also contract surveyors to do the same to establish the exact boundaries and also map out the parcels.