AIGP Asuman Mugenyi embroiled in Rakai land wrangle

Uganda Police Force’s operations director Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Asuman Mugenyi, has been cited in a land dispute in Rakai district where he is accused of mistreating tenants.

Close to 30 residents of Lwamaboga, Kateerero and Lugongo villages in Byakabanda Sub County, Rakai district are accusing Mugenyi of grabbing a chunk of public land in the area where he is currently evicting residents to set up eucalyptus plantations.

Katereero LCI Vice Chairperson Pellegrino Kabuye says Mugenyi has deployed security personnel to forcibly evict tenants occupying the land measuring 480 acres. He says that he was forcibly ejected from his 7-acre piece of land and all his properties destroyed.

Kabuye adds that Mugyenyi’s agents are highhandedly using inmates from Rakai Government Prison to evict people and destroy their plantations without compensating them.

Kabuye also accuses Mugenyi’s agents of plotting trumped up charges against the tenants in order to blackmail into giving up their rights on the disputed land.

Daniel Mpagi, another affected person, indicates that so far, more than 20 households have lost their properties in the wrangle.

Byakanda Sub County chairperson Abubaker Kiwanuka alleges that Mugenyi connived with land officers to illegally obtain a freehold land title on public land without the consent of the area leaders.

Kiwanuka said that they have repeatedly called Mugyenyi for a meeting with the affected community but all in vain.

Rakai Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Charles Mubiru says that his office is making attempts for mediation between the two sides.

Mugenyi however claims that he lawfully acquired the land over 10 years ago, during his tenure as Masaka Regional Police Commander. He, however, denied harassing tenants on the land, urging the aggrieved residents to seek redress from courts of law.

“It is not public land; no one can hold a title over public land. I advised those people to go to court [to challenge my ownership of the land]. The Kamuswaga and Maj Gen Elly Kayanja own huge chunks of land, in fact Kayanja owns square miles of land with squatters, how come they are not saying that it is also public land? I have a title over that land only that they were saying that I am foreigner, and therefore cannot own land in their area but I could be more Ugandan than they are,” Mugenyi said.

Mugenyi said that he acquired the land during the time he served as Southern (now renamed Greater Masaka) Region Police Commander.