Tycoon Abid Alam arrested over illegal evictions

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Tycoon Abid Alam; File

State House Anti-corruption team today arrested  Abid Alam on a range of criminal charges committed during an illegal eviction.

Abid Alam was today paraded before the press by the head of Anti-corruption Unit Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema following an illegal eviction in Bikompe village in Kasanda District where alleged evil acts including gang raping of women and attempted murder were committed.

Nakalema said there are a total of 27 cases files against Abid Alam, arising from the evictions.

She said the arrests were prompted by photographs depicting what happened during the eviction which she say “wasn’t acceptable.”

An account from an eye-witness also confirms terrible acts were committed including destruction of homes, cutting of crops according to Nakalema.

Background

For many years, the land at Bukoba, Bukompe, and the surrounding villages has been at the centre of a dispute between tenants and Abid Alam. The residents are accusing bid Alam of forcibly evicting them and destroying their property.

The land dispute between Abid Alam and residents flared up with residents protesting Abid Alam’s move to construct access roads across the disputed land.

The affected people were originally evicted from Luwunga forest reserve in Kiboga district. With the intervention of the Government, they allegedly acquired land in Bukompe village. But the same land is allegedly claimed by Abid Alam.

In August 2019, the State House Anti-Corruption Unit said they were probing the purchase of the land at a cost of sh1.3b for the people who were evicted from Kiboga. The land was purchased by Kiboga Twegatte Co-operative Society. But it was later discovered that the same land is claimed by Abid Alam.

Over 30,000 people, who were evicted from the Luwunga Central Forest Reserve in Kiboga, settled on the land belonging to Abid Alam at Bukombe in Kassanda, which sparked off a conflict in the area.

The land dispute between Abid Alam and tenants was one of the cases investigated by the Commission of Inquiry into Land Management, headed by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire

Abid Alam was accused of violently evicting people from land measuring about 12 square miles in Mubende. The commission ordered Abid Alam to halt the evictions.

Appearing before the Land Commission last year, Abid Alam who is also the proprietor of Mityana Farm Enterprises, told the commission that he paid sh200m for the entire chunk of land. He said he bought the land from Abasi Kajoba Mawanda, a one Kayima, Sam Bitangaro, Andrew Rugasira, a one Dr. Mbonye and the former Resident District Commissioner of Mubende.

Abid Alam said during the time of purchase of the land, they found a few people living on it but did not carry out due diligence to find out if they had any claim on the land.

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