BY MARIA EYORU
Lt Col Edith Nakalema, the head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, has ordered Mukono District Police Commander (DPC) Joab Wabwire to arrest Brian Ahimbisibwe, the ringleader of a gang that attacked and injured workers of Uganda Christian University (UCU) in Ntawo on February 4.
Nakalema made the directive during her recent visit to the university land in Ntawo on March 6 to get firsthand land-related information between UCU and the residents of Ntawo ward.
Nakalema heard that the suspect, who allegedly led the gang, was released by a junior Police officer at Mukono Police Station without the knowledge of the DPC who had arrested him.
“You cannot release a key suspect in an ongoing case where people have been attacked and hurt. You have to produce him,” she ordered.
Nakalema first inspected the 649 acres of land before attending a meeting held at the community centre.
She came with other high-profile delegates including Judith Oroma who represented Florence Kiconco the lead lawyer in the President’s Office, Inspector Bernard Oryema, Andrew Khawukha, the Judiciary technical advisor, Moses Kafeero, the Kampala Metropolitan police commander, and John Karuhanga the commissioner for land registration.
Her visit followed a promise by President Yoweri Museveni to UCU to send his lawyer Kiconco to look into the Ntawo land wrangle after a top university leader raised a concern to him. Mr. Museveni visited UCU last month.
Whereas President Museveni said during his visit that he was concerned about the plight of his voters who may have illegally settled on the university land in Ntawo, he promised to send Kiconco to study the matter.
In the meeting in Ntawo last week, Nakalema advised the UCU community and the residents of Ntawo to form two committees respectively, that will represent them at the Anti-corruption Unit Headquarters in Kampala to present their cases.
She also requested the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Fred Bamwine, to help the residents and the university officials to form the committees which will represent them when they meet.
“I am requesting the RDC to look for 10 individuals to form a committee and discuss the issues of how you arrived and settled on the land,” she said.
John Karuhanga, the commissioner for land registration, told the residents that the land belonged to Hamu Mukasa in 1939, but was later transferred to the Anglican Church as UCU alleges.
“On October 27, 1939, the late Hamu Mukasa donated the land to the Anglican Church of Uganda. The Governor transferred the land to the registered trustees of the Church as per Hamu Mukasa’s request,” he said.
Meanwhile, Moses Kafeero, the Kampala Metropolitan police commander, assured the community that there will be security provided to protect the people and bring peace. “There will be security in the area,” he said.
He cautioned them against taking the law into their hands.
“Crime is committed at individual levels and the way forward is to be peaceful and stop fighting,” he cautioned.
Whereas UCU had chosen to use the law to fix the land problem in Ntawo, the illegal occupants and land grabbers have resorted to violence against university workers.
At one point in 2016, a mob even threatened to lynch retired Archbishop Stanley Ntagali and a group of 37 bishops of the Anglican Church with whom he had gone to inspect the land.