By Witnessradio.org Team
18th/09/2020: Kiryandongo – Uganda – a magistrate court in Kiryandongo district has charged the eight (8) land rights defenders and activists, with threatening violence and remanded to Masindi prison. Threatening violence is the latest charge after the charge sheet is altered multiple times.
Prosecution alleges that on September, 4th 2020 while Kisalanda, Mwawula Fred, Ndahimana Ramu, Kusiima Samuel, Martin Munyansia, Martin Haweka, Wafula Amos, and Talemwa Eliot and Rwakabisha George and others at large threatened to harm a police officer and workers of Great Season SMC limited.
Great Season SMC Limited, owned by a Sudanese businessman based in Dubai together is one of the multinational companies illegally evicting over 35000 people off the 10,000 Ha in Kiryandongo district for several agribusiness investments. Other Multinationals include; Agilis Partners Limited owned by US businessmen and backed by several foreign development agencies and “social impact” investors and Kiryandongo Sugar Limited owned by a Mauritius-based RAI family.
Appearing before Kiryandongo Magistrate court, the accused persons entered a plea of not guilty and were remanded to Masindi prison until 15th, October, 2020.
They are facing a four-year imprisonment on conviction.
The illegal arrest and detention of the 8 defenders and activists took place on September 17, 2020 few days after the release of the Kiryandongo report “landgrabs at gun point”, which exposed gross human rights violations and abuses committed by security agencies and 3 multinationals against communities. The motive for the illegal arrest and detention can be regarded as a retaliation from district security agencies and companies pinned in the report.