The Minister of State for Lands, Sam Mayanja has directed Anna Namirembe, a Kibanja holder in Mityana district to return to her plot of land where she was evicted after more than four decades of occupancy.
Namirembe went homeless after her landlord Benjamin Walakira allegedly threw her off her 4- acre kibanja and also slashed her crops in Kunywa village, Mityana municipality.
Namirembe since petitioned the lands minister where she faulted Mityana district authorities for neglecting her issue where they failed to stop her eviction.
Mayanja also stood in high spirits and visited the contested land where he followed up on the matter to date when he has reinstated Namirembe on the land.
Namirembe narrated that her late father left her the Kibanja in 1977 and she started working on the land. She however says that she was surprised to see people destroying her plantation at night.
She said that her banana plantation with coffee and eucalyptus was destroyed by graders on Walakira’s directives.
However, Walakira said that Namirembe was staying on land on a lease basis but she started giving out portions to other people, which prompted them to seek legal redress challenging her actions.
In February this year, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni stopped any land eviction without the consent and direct observation of the district security committee chaired by the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) in consultation with the Minister of Lands.
Mayanja who also convened a meeting in Kunywa told residents not to backtrack on seeking justice given the fact that the law allows Bibanja occupants to legally stay.
Though he explained that Walakira’s ownership of the land is absolute and that of Namirembe is about occupancy, Mayanja further explained that the law is there to guide the relationship between the landlord and the tenant.
“The presidential directive also indicates that court orders are contrary to the constitution, I, therefore, ask you all evicted Bibanja Holders to petition the office of the RDC for redress but also I ask you, officers, to arrest all those behind the destruction of Namirembe’s crops and bring them to book for malicious damage to property and criminal trespass,” he said.