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Land Wrangle Leads to Arrests, Property Damage

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In Kassanda district, two private security guards and three individuals have been taken into custody due to property damage related to a land dispute.

The arrests occurred during the weekend and were prompted by allegations of extensive property destruction at Kyakasengula village in Nalutuntu Sub County, Kassanda district.

According to Eriphaz Kato, the village LC1 chairperson, the incident unfolded unexpectedly as a group of people, accompanied by armed individuals, arrived in the village with graders and began destroying gardens. This led to the destruction of acres of crops, trees, and other properties, causing distress among the local residents. Some residents even fainted witnessing the destruction.

The disputed land reportedly belongs to an individual named Nteza, who had apparently reached agreements with a few squatters and provided them with land titles. However, the rest of the squatters were unaware of these developments.

Benedicto Yiga, a resident, mentioned that many squatters had been paying ground rent in previous years. However, in the past two years, the landlord declined to accept the rent.

In response to the situation, the district security committee conducted an investigation in the village. On Sunday, District Police Commander Robert Tashobya confirmed the arrest of the involved individuals, including the armed private security guards, but they were still searching for their boss.

Faridah Bbosa, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner of Kassanda, explained that Nteza had sought permission earlier in the week to develop his land. However, they had requested him to wait for their response while they verified the details of the land. Bbosa added that they had given him until the following Wednesday to reply, but they were surprised by the events that unfolded.

The district team plans to send valuers on Monday to assess the extent of the losses incurred by each resident as investigations into the matter continue.