Police in Zirobwe town in Luwero district are hunting for the people who set the house of a widow on fire to force her to leave a disputed piece of land.

Safina Nakayiza, aged 65 years, a resident of Janda village in Zirobwe sub county, Luwero district is embroiled in a wrangle with the family of the late Yosam Ssebugenyi Sserwanga over ownership of a three acres piece of land.

Nakayiza claims that they settled on the land 40 years ago as a family after the husband got it as a donation from the late Nsereko Musumba, a son of the deceased Sserwanga.

Nakayiza adds that she recently constructed a new house on the land after the former got old and planted crops covering the entire land.

However, recently some family members of the late Sserwanga disowned her when her husband Sulaimain Ssebuliba died and ordered her to leave. Nakayiza adds that the family members deployed a grandchild Ssebitengero Ssemuwemba armed with a panga to intimidate and steal her crops to force her to vacate the piece of land.

Nakayiza said that while she was in the garden on Tuesday morning, her house was set on fire after another similar arson attack on her son’s house. Nakayiza’s household items including bedding, and clothes among others were burnt.

She has repeatedly reported the attacks to Zirobwe Police Station but no arrest has ever been made putting her life at risk.

Ahmed Ssemanda, the LC 1 Chairman of Janda village condemned the arson attack on Nakayiza and reported the matter to Zirobwe Police Station seeking the arrest of the suspect.

Ssemanda however expressed disappointment over the Police’s failure to visit the scene and gather evidence in time on the case.

Emmanuel Busulwa, aged 95 years, the son of late Sserwanga said Nakayiza had no ownership of the piece of land despite living there for decades. Busulwa however denied knowledge of any directive to evict to Nakayiza because they are currently occupied with processing the land title for the entire land before they sub divide and distribute it to the family members.

Busulwa said that the suspected arsonist must face the charges as individual because no person has ordered him to evict Nakayiza.

As a result, the local leaders petitioned the area Member of Parliament Robert Ssekitoleeko demanding his intervention to ensure the widow gets justice. Ssekitoleeko said that he has already asked Zirobwe Police Station to hunt for the suspect to face charges of arson and restrain the family from evicting the widow.

Ssekitoleeko warned that such acts if they go unpunished may turn out violent and lead to loss of life. Sam Twineamazima, the Savannah Regional Police Spokesperson says that Zirobwe Police Station has embarked on investigations into the arson attack and intensified the hunt for the suspect.

Luwero is a hotbed for land wrangles. According to Police Crime report Luwero district registered 206 cases of malicious property damage and 125 cases of criminal trespass all related to land.

As a result, last week the acting Inspector General of Police Major General Geoffrey Katsigazi Tumusiime rushed to Luwero and warned the area Police commanders and Officers In Charge of Stations against mismanaging the land cases.

Katsigazi also reminded them that for anybody to evict someone from the land, he or she must get a court order and seek approval from the District Security Committee.


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