Masindi DISO arrested over alleged illegal land eviction

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The Masindi District Internal Security Officer (DISO), Lt Alex Otiti, has been arrested over a land dispute.

Lt Otiti was arrested yesterday over a 23-square-mile piece of land covering Bishenyi, Kinuuma and Kitwetwe Villages in Miirya Sub-county in Masindi District and part of Masindi Port Sub-county in Kiryandongo District.

The DISO’s arrest followed an order from State House head of Anti-corruption Unit, Lt Col Edith Nakalema, during a meeting at State House with the residents who were evicted from the land in contention.

The residents had petitioned the president’s office after they lost their properties when a grader belonging to Kiryandongo Sugar ploughed the land claimed by Kenya’s Rujab Agriculture Ltd.

The petitioners said their crops were destroyed, houses demolished, beaten up and subjected to extra-judicial detention among other cases of mistreatment.

Mr Cosmas Byaruhanga, the Masindi District LC 5 chairman who was among the leaders from the district who attended the meeting told Kazi-Njema News last evening that the meeting chaired by Ms Nakalema was attended by more than 60 petitioners who aired out their grievances to the army officer.

The residents’ complaints forced Ms Nakalema to order for Lt Otiti, according to Mr Byaruhanga.

“After presenting their grievances, it prompted to Lt Col Nakalema to order for Lt Otiti’s arrest accusing him of failure to protect the people from mistreatment,” he said.

The chairman added that the army officer informed the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) Director General about Mr Otiti’s arrest before ordering six other people including the Officer in charge of Crime at Masindi police station, Mr Frank Ntankovu to record statements for investigations to be carried out.

The chairman also disclosed that during the meeting, it was resolved that all files of the evictees be recalled and heard by court in Masindi, Kiryandongo Sugar must stop carrying out any further activities on the land and a meeting for all relevant heads of government agencies be held soon on the land to resolve the matter that is causing insecurity in the area.

However, this website could not independently verify the report as we could not reach Ms Nakalema for a comment.

Also, efforts to get a comment from the Masindi Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Mr Godfrey Nyakahuma, were futile since he could not answer our repeated phone calls by the time of filing this report.

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