Masaka City RCC Suspended For Okaying Eviction of Tenants

Ronald Katende Kinene, the Masaka City Resident Commissioner – RCC is on suspension for okaying the enforcement of a controversial court order that evicted two families. 

The State Minister in Charge of Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Kabuye Kyofatogabye announced the suspension together with Prime Minister, Robina Nabbanja and the Lands and Housing Minister Judith Nabakooba during their visit to the disputed land on Sunday evening. 

Katende’s troubles started when he okayed the execution of an eviction court order at Kasijjagirwa cell in the Kimanya-Kabenera division, where two families were evicted from 6.5 acres of land. Kyofatogabye faulted Katende for failing to protect the families against the wrath of eviction in which their properties including homes were demolished. 

On January 27th, 2023, court bailiffs evicted the families of Aisha Nakanwagi and Luke Lukoma from their land after they lost a court case against businessmen Deus Kakeeto and Francis Mbugga, with whom they have been wrangling since 2019. On January 25th, the Masaka grade one Christine Nantege issued an eviction order against the duo who unsuccessfully defended their occupancy in a protracted court case.   

The bailiffs destroyed two houses and cut down banana and coffee plantations as they forced the two families off the land, which prompted them to petition the office of the Prime Minister.  They accused Katende of favoring the businessmen that maliciously threw them off the land, despite their continuous appeals to his office to save them from the eviction.

According to Kyofatogabye, the RCC failed to use his mandate when he allowed the execution of a controversial eviction order against elderly vulnerable victims, who he says deserved state protection. He argued that the victims were not even allowed time to appeal against the court decision and wondered how Kinene okayed eviction two days after the court order was issued.

The Minister instructed Katende to hand over office to his Deputy for the Nyendo-Mukungwe division, Mastula Naava to allow an investigation into the matter. Prime Minster Robina Nabbanja instructed the Ministry of Lands and Housing to thoroughly examine the authenticity of the certificate of titles of the disputed land to ascertain its true ownership. 

She observed that she is also going to seek the indulgence of the Chief Justice on what she described as a troublesome court order, noting this will guide their next course of action. Katende has since blamed the victims for failure to defend their ownership of the disputed land, saying that they were given opportunities to present evidence on how they acquired the land in vain. He says that he is only a victim of circumstance, arguing that the parties were already wrangling before he was posted to Masaka.

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