Security Minister Gen. Elly Tumwine and the former Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura have been named in the Gomba land evictions that left 25,000 families homeless.
The two were today named by Joseph Kahigi, who was appearing as a witness before the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire led Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters.
The probe team is currently inquiring into the 2009 eviction of 2,500 families from Luwunga Central forest reserve in Kiboga district. The families have since failed to access their 980-acre resettlement land in Gomba district.
The land was sold to them by William Tumwine, the manager projects at Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
The families are part of the Kiboga Twegatte Cooperative Society, who purchased the land in 2014 after government gave the group 3 billion shillings to purchase land elsewhere and a private firm New Forest Company gave them an additional 1.5 billion shillings for resettlement.
On Thursday, William Tumwine told the probe that since selling his land to the 25,000 families for resettlement, they have failed to access it with Kahigi claiming ownership of the same piece of land on Block 89 plot 14 and block 88 plots 4 acquired from Henry Seddube.
He further testifies that Kahigi backed by the Gomba Resident District Commissioner Fred Nayebare and some senior Police officers had frustrated survey of the land.
Kahigi told the probe that while attending a security meeting in Mpigi district, Gen. Elly Tumwine learnt through the LCV Chairman about Joseph Kahigi from Kasekere, Garuga in Entebbe Municipality whose land had been allegedly taken over by families organized under Kiboga Twegatte Co-operative Society.
According to Kahigi, Gen. Tumwine called him and asked about the saga which he explained. It is then that Gen. Tumwine is said to have contacted the then IGP Kale Kayihura and the Land Protection Unit to help Kahigi.
He further told the Commission that members of Kiboga Twegatte Co-operative Society in July 2017 came in 6 lorries and illegally occupied his land on Block 89 plot 14 and block 88 plot 4 in Madu Sub- county, Gomba District. He alleges that they destroyed his crops, slaughtered 36 cattle and killed calves by locking them in a house and setting them ablaze.
Kahigi says that he reached out to different offices including that of the Resident District Commissioner and the Commissioner Land Protection Unit of Police Christine Nanditi in vain.
He says that it was Gen. Tumwine’s intervention that resulted in immediate action taken.
Documents before the Commission indicated that the land under contention is registered under Stella Kakoba Tumwine, a wife to William Tumwine. It is a lease land on Block 364, plots 7 and 8. William Tumwine says the 5 square miles land is away from his two plots initially taken over by the Society.
Asked by the Deputy Lead Counsel John Bosco Suuza how the Society could possibly claim land they never purchased, Kahigi asked the commission to help him establish that. He added that the society has never been to the land they bought and that they are likely to have been cheated by Tumwine.