Businessman Abid Alam on the spot over fresh land evictions

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By EPHRAIM KASOZI & JALIRA NAMYALO

KAMPALA. Businessman Abid Alam is on spot over his alleged forceful eviction of more than 700 families from seven square miles of land in Nalutuntu Sub-County in Mubende District.

Mr Alam is embroiled in a row with residents over another 12 square mile-land in the same area.

He is accused of committing atrocities including arrests, torture and detentions against occupants of five square mile-land at Bukoba, Kika, Kakungube and Bukompe villages in Nalutuntu Sub-County, Kassanda South in Mubende District.

On Thursday, hundreds of people travelled in buses and stormed the offices of the Land Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters at the National Records and Archives Centre in Wandegeya, seeking a hearing of their complaint.

While displaying injuries and wounds suffered as a result of beatings and shooting, the complainants said that Mr Alam with the support of senior district officials employed private guards; SENACA and Union of Water Veterans Security Group in the violent evictions.

They accused Ms Evelyn Tinkasimire, the acting Resident District Commissioner of Mubende, the District Police Commander and the District Internal Security Officer (DISO) for aiding the fresh evictions in contravention of the status quo ordered by land probe.

Last year, the Commission ordered for a status quo to be maintained (residents to stay on the land) until investigations into the complaints of violent evictions are concluded.

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire who chairs the seven-member Commission, issued the order after Mr Alam was quizzed over the 2006 -2008 violent evictions, destruction of property and murder of three people in regard to 12 square mile-land in Mubende.

Kasanda south residents

On Thursday, hundreds of people travelled in buses and stormed the offices of the Land Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters at the National Records and Archives Centre in Wandegeya, seeking a hearing of their complaint. PHOTO BY STEVEN WANDERA

According to the Commission, Mr Alam who was released on police bond is under investigations for possible prosecution on accusations of murder, assault, grievous harm, inciting violence, disobeying lawful orders and unlawful destruction of property.

Mr Alam who has since petitioned the Constitutional Court challenging the land probe’s mandate was arrested in November last year on orders of the Commission and later released on police bond.
Kassanda South Member of Parliament, Mr Simeo Nsubuga who led the complainants accused Mr Alam of using forceful means to evict people.

“They have used bayonets, shot at people and arrested some of them. This man (Alam) established illegal detention centers at Lwamasanga village in connivance with police. Those arrested are transferred to Mubende Police station and charged with tramped up charges,” Mr Nsubuga said.

He said: “I am not fighting investors, I highly appreciate the government policy of promoting investments but the investors especially Mr Alam should comply with the law and have respect for human rights.”
According to the MP, more than twenty people have been injured and one of them is admitted at Nsambya Hospital.

Mr Alam’s woes arose from numerous complaints from families of ex-world war servicemen who claimed that they were violently evicted by his agents from a large chunk of land where they had settled for more than five decades.

Monitor.co.ug

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