Mubende DPC sued as 3 suspects disappear from prison

Three of the 28 suspects who were remanded following last year’s clashes over a contested piece of land have reportedly gone missing from their confinement at Kaweeri prison in Mubende district.

Grace Nantubiro, Ronald Mugwabya and Focus Mugisha were reported missing from the prison on Wednesday under unclear circumstances.

They were remanded in October last year following clashes that led to the death of Yunus Tabu, a retired UPDF soldier who was commanding a gang that was enforcing the eviction of more than 3,000 people from a 322.5 hectare piece of land that covers the villages of Kambuye, Kanseera, Kikono, Kyabaana and Lwensanga.

This was after businessman George Kaweesi laid claim over the land and immediately moved to evict the residents.

Their lawyers however say that the disappearance could be a move to block trio from swearing affidavits in support of the civil suit filed by victims of the evictions against the alleged land grabbers.

The evictees on Wednesday filed a civil suit before the High court in Mubende seeking compensation and an order to have them reclaim the land under contention.

Through Kiiza and Mugisha advocates, the victims have sued Kaweesi jointly with his farm manager Francis Kyeyune, the Mubende district police commander at the time of the eviction, Martin Okoyo and the Attorney General.

They want court to issue orders reinstating them on the land and the protection of their land rights. They also want an independent committee to carry out valuation on the land and properties before the actual compensation process starts.

They also question the continued detention of their 28 colleagues without trial.

Lawyer Marvin Saasi says they will now move to seek for bail again.

“We are taking one step at a time, over 20 people have been in jail since last year, now that we have filed the civil suit, we will also apply for bail in the due course,”Saasi said.