Chinese national seeks gov’t protection against land encroaches

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By Wilson Manishimwe

Mubende District Police Commander, Patrick Byaruhanga promised to arrest and charge Tumwine’s murderers.
Chinese national Martins Chang wants government protection against encroachers whom he accuses of encroaching on his 2,500 acre tree planting farm in Mubende district. The farm, Farmosa, is located in Kyedikyo, Kaswa, Butoro, Nyamayindi, Bikoni, Ngababo and Kicucura in the sub- counties of Madudu and Butorogo.

His appeal follows the July 17 gruesome murder of the farm’s general manager Stephen Tumwine by the locals who carried machetes and knives. Tumwine was found dead by Police and the body was taken for postmortem before being taken to for burial.Mubende District Police Commander, Patrick Byaruhanga promised to arrest and charge Tumwine’s murderers. He pointed out land dispute as the cause of the murder.

 hang at akasero ospital after he was attacked
Chang at Nakasero Hospital after he was attacked

The Resident District Commissioner, Florence Tibeyunga, condemned the act, saying more amicable means of conflict resolution must be embraced other than killing each other.

New Vision has learnt that about 10 suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder. Chang said he purchased this land in 2011 from Prince Kimera and since then, he has been compensating about 100 families that were squatters on the land.

“My worry is that many people are still encroaching on the land and there’s continued death threats to my workers and myself,” he said, explaining how last year’s attack targeted him while on the way to the farm from where he was assaulted, but he was later treated at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala.

Speaking to journalists on Saturday, Chang said since the incident, he has never gone back to visit his farm saying he is worried about the possible occurrence of the same incidence.

He asked Police and other security agencies to intervene and provide security to his workers and his trees that were planted after he bought the land.

Chang who is also the Managing Director for Kampala-based Company, Quality Parts that deals in motor and automotive spare parts added: “I am worried that more people will be killed if there’s no intervention by security agencies. I am aware that they are even targeting my wife, something must be done concerning this land wrangle.”

The land wrangle is said to have calumniated in 2011 where the squatters on the land argued that they should not be sent away from the land claiming that they are the rightful owners.

 hang on his farm
Chang on his farm

However, in April last year, he went to Buganda Land Board that cleared him as the rightful owner and should continue with activities and all the tenants and squatters be notified to leave the land.

What workers say?

Duncan Musinguzi, the current farm supervisor told media that late Tumwine was chopped by the angry mob while heading for compensation of one of the squatters on the land.

 ome of the armosa workers after speaking to press
Some of the Farmosa workers after speaking to press

He said they reached somewhere in Butorobo village in Kidudu sub-county on foot, the mob attacked them but they managed to get Tumwine but Musinguzi escaped narrowly.

Peter Nshekanabo said although they have resumed their work, they are still leaving in fear that the angry people may come back and kill more people. He said there’s need for Police to deploy more officers on the farm.