Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fear as American and other foreign nationals in Kampala face eviction


An American family may have already spent their last night at their home in Makindye, a Kampala suburb, after they were told last week to vacate the property they occupy within seven days, under unclear circumstances. The seven days elapsed on Tuesday.

The family was reportedly told by a group claiming to be descendants of late Buganda King Daudi Chwa that the land on which they are residing belongs to them and the queen mother of Buganda.

King Daudi Chwa is the grandfather of Kabaka Ronald Mutebi. He was king of Buganda between 1897 and 1939. A conflict has been brewing between the Buganda Land Board and the Mengo establishment on one side and a group led by among others, Prince David Simbwa, over large parcels of land.

According to an intelligence source, the group is led by a very influential woman also an "African chemist" by profession. "We are trying to stop them but her influence is far-reaching. We are looking for a solution to this mess," the source said.

US Embassy officials were not available for comment by press time yesterday. The evicted family is not the only one bickering with this group that is now orchestrating a wave of forceful evictions, seemingly targeting foreign nationals.

On April 24, a German family was evicted from a house they were renting in Makindye by the group. They were evicted before they could remove their property from the house.

Sources say the family is living at an undisclosed location within the city with friends, but are terrified after their ordeal. In another incident early this month, a German woman was ejected from her Makindye home after weeks of threats. Her servant quarters were extensively damaged by youth hired by the 'chemist'. The woman has since fled, leaving behind her property.


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