The police in Hoima have arrested five security guards for allegedly shooting at the Minister of State for Lands, Dr Sam Mayanja in Hoima district.
The security guards attached to Pyramid Security Group have been identified as Vincent Omara, 28, Vincent Tusingwire 26, Cleophas Kansiime 22, Gad Mairiho 42 and Robert Abekani 25.
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine Region Police Spokesperson says the five are detained at Hoima Central Police Station.
Hakiza further told Uganda Radio Network-URN in an interview on Tuesday that the guns that were used have been confiscated as exhibits and they are also being kept at Hoima central police station.
According to Hakiza, police have submitted the suspects’ files to the Resident State Attorney-RSA for legal advice about the charges of threatening violence by shooting that have already been put against them.
The security guards had been deployed on a contested piece of land being claimed by Fred Mugamba, a tycoon in Hoima City, and more than 2,000 residents of Rwobunyonyi, Kirindasojo, and Kihohoro villages in Buraru sub-county in Hoima district.
It is alleged that area residents had petitioned Mayanja accusing Mugamba of trying to forcefully evict them from their ancestral land that they have lived on for decades. The contested piece of land measures approximately 810 hectares.
The families say they have occupied the contested land since the 1940s and wonder how Mugamba who is not even a resident of the area is claiming the land.
On Thursday, as the Minister attempted to visit the contested land, the guards opened fire and shot several bullets in the air as the minister advanced on the land. They later fled the area.
The minister who was together with Hoima Resident District Commissioner-RDC Rogers Mbabazi, Hoima District Police Commander-DPC Jackson Bogere, and other security personnel directed security in the district to hunt for the security guards and have them arrested.