A second eviction in less than two decades is looming for former Kaweeri coffee plantation victims

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By witnessradio.org Team

Multiple claims to the same plot of land: Mubende High Court has issued an order allowing a newly emerged landlord, Kaweesi George of Block 168, plots 22 and 23 to open land boundaries in a plot to evict over 300 families. The land being targeted was used to resettle over 300 families that were part of 4000 families evicted from their ancestral land by Kaweeri Coffee Plantation Limited. The land is located in Kanseera word, East Division, Mubende district.

In Uganda’s justice system, a court order to open land boundaries is heard ex-parte and issued by a high court judge. Its supposed to be enforced by law enforcers including police. As far as land conflicts is concerned; witnessradio.org has documented hundreds of cases where court orders pertaining boundary opening have fueled land conflicts and illegal evictions.

On August 18, 2001 over 4000 people were violently evicted from their ancestral land in the villages of Kitemba, Luwunga, Kijunga and Kiryamakobe, Mubende district by Ugandan army and police on behalf of Kaweeri Coffee Planation limited. Kaweeri Coffee Plantation Ltd is a full subsidiary of the German Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG) based in Hamburg.

Emmanuel Bukoo Kayiwa, claims, to be the first rightful landlord who settled 300 families as compensation after they lost their land to Kaweeri.

Kaweesi Swaibu, 70 who’s part of the 300 evictees claims that he was a resident of Kitemba village, Maduddu Sub County on Block 91, plot 1 before the Kaweeri eviction. “i was resettled by one Emmanuel Kayiwa Bukoo who claimed to be the landlord of our former land. I was given five (5) acres of land on Block 168, Plot 22/23 which totals to 322.5 Hectares.

He explained that before he accepted to be resettled, his former landlord (Kayiwa) claimed that he was the rightful owner of that land and assured them of security from another eviction.

Federesi Madina, 68 Years, claims she was compensated with three (3) acres of land after her land was forcefully taken by Kaweeri Coffee Plantation Ltd to grow coffee. “I was surprised to hear that there are three people claiming ownership of our land. I signed documents accepting the offer but I am being evicted, why should I be displaced in my own country? asked  Federesi.

Kaweesi George, a resident of Mityana is the second person to claim ownership of  322.5 hectares located on Block 168, Plot 28. He said he bought the land from one Swaibu Lubega Wagwa.

Its now within the powers of police and other security agencies to protect the interest of the businessman through enforcing the court order.