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Violent eviction leaves 40 students hospitalized

The future of more than 40 students remains in balance after an ill-timed eviction that was carried out in Iganga town this week ended up harming the students.

The incident happened on Tuesday Oct 25, 2016 at Bulubandi village along Saza road in Iganga town, when court bailiffs backed with police violently battled residents of a village while executing a court order to evict them from a disputed piece of land.

The affected students of Iganga Parents School were preparing for science exams in a school neighbouring the disputed property and when police fired tear gas, it spread over to the school.

The school head teacher Asuman Mpata said some of the affected students were senior four candidates who were preparing for a physics paper later in the day. The

Sunrise understands that some of the students failed to sit for the exam because of the incident.

Police fired tear gas to disperse dozens of residents after court ruled in favour of Justice Steven Musota to reposses a piece of land measuring about a quarter of an acre, which had been illegally acquired by one Ali Lukungu.

Pandemonium erupted when the occupants received an eviction notice from Iganga police asking them to vacate the land within three days because it belonged to Justice Steven Musota.

The eviction followed the dramatic events by residents who lit bonfires and started drumming as a way of attracting public sympathies.

The drumming did not stop the bailiffs from breaking the buildings. But it instead enraged the occupiers and a violent exchange ensued as people threw stones at the police while the police returned tear gas.

According to Mawazi Tiwanje, one of the residents, they had bought the plots from Lukungu in the presence of LC1 officials who authorised the transactions. He claimed that it was wrong from Justine Musota to evict them when he was aware that people had been settling on his alleged land without informing them.

“We all bought these plots from Lukungu in the presence of LC I officials who wrote and appended their signatures to the sale agreements thereby paving way for construction of our houses. We have

just been shocked to and learn of other wrangles after developing on the land,” said Tiwanje.
Wambi Mufumba, another victim of the circumstance said that he bought his plot in 2002 without receiving any warning that the land was disputed.

“If they surely contend that this is their land, then let them first compensate us or else we have nowhere to go having bought the land genuinely with legal supporting documents” he added.

Information at police indicates that Justice Musota has for several years been wrangling with Lukungu over the ownership of the land.

The Police arrested two people identified as Sadam Waiswa and Henry Musana, for allegedly resisting the eviction. Several houses, crops were razed in the operation.

Iganga District Police Commander Nasibu Ndita also confirmed the arrest of Lukungu who allegedly sold the land to the occupants as investigations into the matter continue.