By Naboth Isaac Niwagaba
Police in Kabale have cautioned LC1 Chairpersons against distancing themselves from land disputes that involve wealthy people.
The caution comes after a team of officers from Kabale Regional Police yesterday swung in action to stop possible bloodshed from an unsettled land wrangle at the estate of the late Mathias Kahangyire in Nyakakiika cell, Karubanda ward, Kitumba Subcounty.
The team led by Kigezi Region Community Laison Officer ASP Enock Hatangimana rushed to the place after being notified that one of the family members had defied court orders to halt any action on the land in question consensus on apportioning of the estate is reached.
The accused is Ms. Alexander Lagala, a business lady and custodian of the land in contention. She is accused of selling part of the land sitting on about 7 acres after she hired a tractor to construct an access road to one of the plots that she reportedly intends to sell without the consent of the other family members.
While speaking to the village council that sat at the home of the late Kahangire, ASP Hatangimana asked the LC.1 chairpersons across the region to carry out their role of coordinating security to stop violence resulting from land wrangles, without fear or favor.
His words followed a complaint by the area Lc1 Chairperson William Kalenzi that Ms. Lagala had rejected counsel about the conflict because she was reportedly wealthier than everyone on the village committee. Hatangimana said it was not the first time the Kigezi Regional Police had intervened in the matter. He warned that they would not sit back and watch anyone taking the law into their own hands.
The LC.4 female Councilor Kitumba ward, Lucia Tusiime also a granddaughter to the late Kahangire told this media house that Lagala had assumed administration of the estate, and she was planning to sell part of the land “using money” to dodge requirements of the law.
We were not able to reach Ms. Lagala or her lawyer for a comment, but her aide who preferred anonymity told our reporter that his boss was following the law in whatever she was doing. He said that Lagala had a court judgment that ruled in her favor as the late Kahangire’s estate administrator.
He also added that construction of the access road through one of the plots of the land was done after the agreement was reached with the rest of the family members, an allegation dismissed by Ms. Lucia.
Meanwhile, ASP Hatangimana said that Lagala could be charged with “criminal trespass,” “malicious damage,” or disobedience of lawful orders” after completion of investigations into the matter. He also ordered the LC.1 chairperson to avoid signing any land sale agreement regarding the late Kahangire’s estate until the prevailing conflict is brought to an end.