A man who won a six-year protracted land case against Serere District local government has been denied access to the land by government officials, Daily Monitor has learnt.
On June 15 last year, Soroti High Court judge Henry Adonyo, declared Mr Moses Omiat the lawful owner of the contested 150 acres of land that Serere District local government had also claimed ownership.
Also in his decision, Justice Adonyo fined Serere District local government Shs320m in legal costs and for the destruction of trees on the said land.
However, almost a year later, Mr Omiat claims several top district officials, including the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Ms Harriet Nakamya, and the LCV chairperson, Mr Stephen Ochola, have denied him access and have also continued to trespass on his land.
He further alleged that the district officials are allowing trespassers to access his land and they are cutting trees for timber, charcoal burning, using the land for brick making, and using part of the land to host a weekly market.
“The Serere RDC has persistently sworn and vowed that she will not implement the eviction order. The same RDC has persistently interfered in execution of the court order, claiming she has a presidential directive to do so,” Mr Omiat lamented at the weekend.
In December last year, Ms Nakamya, while addressing squatters on the said piece of land, vowed not to allow Mr Omiat to evict them.
“I will not allow Omiat to evict any person even though there is a court order,” she said, adding that the occupants have lived on the contested land for a long time.
On Sunday, Ms Nakamya insisted that she will stand her ground to protect the squatters on the land.
“It’s not true that I have seen the copy of the court judgment. I only heard of it but as RDC, I have to oversee security in the district and there is a presidential directive, which doesn’t allow evicting people from land just like that,” RDC Nakamya said.
She added: “I can’t stand seeing people who have been on the land for more than 50 years evicted.”
Likewise, Mr Ochola is accused of issuing threats of how Mr Omiat will not be able to use the land.
“The LCV chairperson has been issuing threats that we shall not use our land or access it even if we have a court order. This is very wrong and exhibition of the highest order of impunity,” Mr Omiat said.
Our efforts to get a comment from Mr Ochola were futile by press time.
The matter arose in 2016 when Mr Omiat, as the administrator of the estate of the late George William Amollo, sued 11 people for trespass on their ancestral land in Kasilo Village, Kamod Parish, Serere District.
He accused them of trespass and destruction of property on the said ancestral land that he inherited from his grandfather.
Original Reporting: Daily Monitor