I won’t evict you, Landowner tells Lusanja land Squatters

Lusanja

Lusanja evictions (courtesy photo)

Over 30,000 residents of Lusanja in Kasangati Town Council, Wakiso District have in recent weeks been living in fear over threats of eviction by purported landowners.

The alleged owners have been accusing the tenants of illegal occupancy of the land.

The said residents occupy a 76-acre piece of land adjacent to the site that saw scenes of brutal eviction in 2018 which sent shock across the country.

Samuel Baliddawa a resident, said that over the years they thought that the land in question belonged to queen mother (Namasole) Sarah Natoolo of Lukuli Nanganda to whom they have been paying ground rent (Busuulu).

However, some years back they were informed a one Paul Bitalabeho had obtained a 44-year lease in 1984 (a period during which they believe private milo had been abolished).

Cyrus Muwonge Kiwanuka the LCII publicity secretary says that when the late Paul Bitalabeho died, his son Crisper Bitalabeho took over the land and sold it to different land dealers who also later sold the same land to different people in plots.

At the moment URN some residents have cried out to URN that another son of the late Bitalabeho known as Paul Katabaazi Bitalabeho has come out in September this year saying that he is the rightful administrator of the land telling residents to pay to him ground rent and Kanzu dues, directly to his office or else they risk eviction.

Muwonge says that all the people who had bought plots were paying the ground rent Busuulu and the Kanzu, money regarded as ‘a gift’ to the owner of the land Namasole Sarah Natoolo.

Mary Asabahebwa said that Bitalabeho is telling them to pay ground rent of 30,000 shillings per year yet they were paying 10,000 to the Namasole something they find unfair.

She added that government and ministry of lands should come out and save the situation and show the rightful owner of the land on which they have lived for over 20 years.

Another resident Denis Kasagga SSebuguzi alleges that Bitalabeho is telling them to pay Kanzu money of 500,000 shillings per person occupying 50 x 50 feet and below, 1,000,000 shillings per person who has 50 ft x 100 ft, and 2,000,000 shillings for one who has 100 ft and above and then 100,000 shillings for URA dues, which they say that they can’t afford.

Carol Nambi says that they need to understand the rightful owner of the land between Paul Bitalabeho and Crisper Bitalabeho so that they pay the ground rent to the right person.

Charles Kabanda Lwanga chairperson Kiteezi parish says that Katabaazi Bitalabeho’s lease on that land is about to expire yet he is not getting anything from the land because the residents occupying the land don’t pay to him ground rent, yet for him his paying ground rent of that land to Buganda Land Board.

He added that the land was sold by many people who do not have ownership of the land without the knowledge of the administrator Katabaazi Bitalabeho.

He wants to know the squatters on his land so that they can cooperate that is why he is telling everyone to register so that they can be known to him as his tenants.

Paul Katabaazi Bitalabeho when contacted said that he is not evicting any person on the land calling the allegations false.

“Yes, I own the land but I have no intentions of evicting any person,” he said, adding that it has not even crossed his mind and he doesn’t know where the residents get the rumors from.

On the 12th of October 2018, hundreds of families lost their property after Medard Kiconco a businessman came out and claimed ownership of land in Lusanja adjacent to the land in question where residents fear eviction now

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