Three family members cum money lenders are detained at Kikuube Central Police Station on charges of threatening violence arising from purported land grabbing.
The trio includes Joseph Kasoma, Robert Kanago and their 70-year-old father, Felix Nyabongo, all residents of Kakooge Cell in Kigaaya West Ward, Buhimba Town Council in Kikuube District.
These were arrested on Tuesday on the orders of the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Amlan Tumusiime.
The conflict between the accused and residents started when an old woman, Ms Joyce Baume, sold a piece of land to Eng Julius Ahurra to which Nyabongo and his accomplices also claim ownership.
Ceaseless reports also emerged to the authorities that the triad grabs land mortgaged to them for money despite the borrowers having fully serviced their loans.
During a meeting held at Kakooge cell, the residents plainly accused the three forcing the RDC to direct the police to effect arrest.
“Anybody who is accusing these three people should go to the police and record a statement so that they can be arraigned before the magistrate for their illegalities. Ensure that you have witnesses so that the legal arm of the government can take its course,” Mr Tumusiime said amidst agreement from some affected residents.
The Chairman for Kakooge Cell, Mr William Kaahwa, said Nyabongo and his two sons have become a community threat by grabbing people’s land exposing the area to sheer insecurity.
At the beginning of this year, some residents of Buhimba town council and sub-county reported to the district security team that Nyabongo and his son Kagoma were threatening to kill them should they refuse to vacate the land they claimed belonged to them.
The residents said the accused were always seen moving with machetes coercing the security team to convene a meeting at the RDC’s office.
In the meeting, Nyabongo’s family was warned against the act.
Nevertheless, Nyabongo and his purported accomplices turned a deaf ear until Tuesday when they were arrested and detained pending production before court to answer charges of threatening violence preferred against them.
The Kikuube District Chairman, Mr Peter Banura, said the authorities could not wait for tougher times to occur in the area, thus, intervening before the situation could run out of proportion.
“As authorities in the district, we could not wait for bloodshed. We have received complaints from some residents accusing the threesome of grabbing their land claiming that the borrowers never serviced their loans. There have been reports of the trio moving around with machetes threatening to kill people. This forced us as authorities to intervene,” he said during the meeting.
Last year, Mr Tumusiime petitioned the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority to investigate whether Nyabongo and his son Kagoma were registered money lenders.
It so turned out that the two were never recognised by the government since they were operating illegitimately.