Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /usr/www/users/urnnet/a/story.php on line 43 Businesswoman Accused Of Deploying Armed Congolese Refugees On Disputed Land :: Uganda Radionetwork
Gava Twinamatsiko, Nyabubare village LC1 Chairman says that locals watched with no help as fire ravaged trees but feared to cross into the land to avoid being harmed by armed Congolese refugees deployed there.
A prominent businesswoman in Mbarara and Kampala, Mary Kihembo
Kibahigyire is being accused of deploying armed Congolese refugees
on a disputed land in Rukiga district.
The land were the Congolese refugees are reportedly being deployed on the disputed land is located at Kishingati hill in
Nyabubare village, Rwenangye parish,
Kamwezi sub county.
Kibahigyire of grabbing and fencing their 64 hectares of land her own 15
hectares. In December 2022, locals
accused Kibahigyire of deploying armed private security guards on the contested
land that barred locals from accessing it.
It forced Rukiga district security authorities to intervene
and ordered her to withdraw the armed security guards since they were not known
to security authorities. A ten-man security committee led by the office of the
District Criminal Intelligence Officer was instituted to conduct investigations into the matter and compile a report.
Early this month, locals again accused Kyibahigyire of carrying out fresh deployment of Congolese refugees with arrows and
bows. The fresh feud
compelled Rukiga District security authorities led by Fred Nayebare
Kyamuzigyita, Area Resident District Commissioner to hold another security
meeting yesterday at Kishingati hill.
meeting was also attended by
Major Martha Asiimwe, a State House Official and Presidential Advisor in
of Resident District Commissioners. During the meeting, locals who
included; Gaddie Biranga
Tumuheirwe and Leo Mbabazi say that what angered them most was when the
deployed armed Congolese refugees deployed by Kibahigyire mid this month
parts of the disputed land and eucalyptus trees plantations.
Gava Twinamatsiko, Nyabubare village LC1 Chairman says that
locals watched with no help as fire ravaged trees but feared to cross into the
land to avoid being harmed by armed Congolese refugees deployed there.
Twinamatsiko also says that his office has
received several cases of dogs that are heightened to back up refugees’
strength eating locals’ animals. He says that during night hours, the refugees roam around
threatening locals and has also registered two cases two of girls who were
sexually harassed by them. Twinamatsiko says that he advised locals to report
the issues afresh since he also feared to intervene for his safety.
//Cue in: “hakabaho obuteikyirizagana na…
Cue out: …biri hagati.”//
Francis Tumuhimbise another affected resident says that the
problem resulted after he refused to sell his piece of land to
Kibahigyire. Benon Tugarukye says that
when his two goats and a cow were attacked and mauled by the dogs, he feared to
protest in order not to avoid testing the wrath of the Congolese refugees
deployed there. He says that as locals,
they fear that the refugees deployed there could even be rebels Mable
Turyamwikuja argues that her 16-year-old daughter was taken by the Congolese
refugees deployed by Kibahigyire but she feared to protest.
// Cue in: “nyowe embwa zimariire….
Cue out: ….abaserikare beeye.”//
When given a chance to talk, Kibahigyire admitted to having
deployed Congolese refugees after the withdrawal of armed private security
guards but locals continued to threaten her.
She argued that she picked refugees from one of the recognized camps and
were all cleared by the office of the Prime Minister.
But, Kyamuzigita, Police officers attached to Kamwezi,
Muhanga and Rukiga police stations, sub-county security authorities also
claimed that they are not informed as security authorities manning the
district. This angered Kyibahigyire and started insulting Kyamuzigita and
police officers accusing them of being biased by favoring locals. Kyamuzigita ordered investigations into the
refugees and arrest of those will were found deployed without the required
documents from the office of the Prime Minister.
Cue in: “abantu
Cue out:….ninteera endure.”//
Kyamuzigyita also ordered Kibahigyire to remove the fence,
allow locals to access the contested land and use a court of law to handle the
matter. He also advised Kibahigyire to
secure a court order.
//Cue in: “Through you ninkushaba…
Cue out: …kuronda solution.”//
In October 2021, Nathan Bwogi, the Legal Assistant to the
President and State House in charge of the lands department intervened in the
matter but was never resolved.