Kasese Land Wrangles, Seven Houses Burnt

By Tumusiime Jerad

KASESE: At least seven houses have been burnt as a result of land conflicts in Kayanja I and Kayanja II villages of Kitswamba Sub County in Kasese district.

The conflict has pitted Basongora community against the Banyarwanda communities in the two villages.
Early this month, a group of youths who claim to be Basongora raided these two areas and beat up a number of people.

The wee hours of Sunday, another group of people, believed to be Basongora attacked the same villages and set ablaze seven houses.

When our reporter spoke to some of the people whose houses were burnt, they claimed the attackers told them that they were squatting on their land.

Maria Mukandangaa 60-year-old woman, said burning of the houses started at around 11pm.
Her story is corroborated by Grace Timiyanda who said in the middle of the night, they heard people roaming outside saying and when they moved outside they found one of the house burning.

Timiyanda said the youth who claim to belong to the Basongora ethnicity ordered them to evacuate the land which they stay since they claim it belongs to the Basongora.

Grace Timiyanda said that many things were burnt in the house including cloths for the children, Mattress, Beans, maize and many others.

Gerald Ankwase calls upon government to intervene and offer them assistance lest they fight back to protect themselves.

He says if government does not intervene they will also defend themselves by retaliating.

Joseph Kananga the head of Banyarwanda in Kayanja I and Kayanja II villages said that since Basongora started attacking them, they have been holding meetings between the two tribes to see how they can sort out their issues but unfortunately the unknown people came and burnt the houses that belongs to Banyarwanda community.

Kananga appealed to the Banyarwanda community to calm down and not seek revenge.
Last week, the LC 5, chairman forKasese District,GeoffreyBigogo Sibendire told the vice president H.E SekandiEdward Kiwanukathat what used to be a fight between Bakonzo cultivators and pastoralists is now Basongora verses Banyarwanda calling for the a quick intervention by the central government.
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