UPDF Gen loses cattle to Mafia land grabbers, cries for Justice

Gen (rtd) Andrew Lutaaya

Gen (rtd) Andrew Lutaaya has cried out to the Government for help over attacks on his ranch in Mubende district by unknown people.

Lutaaya said last week, unknown people went to his ranch in Katambogo village, Kigando sub-county, threatened herdsmen and cut his cattle using machetes.

Lutaaya was one of the 27 people who participated in the attack on Kabamba Barracks to launch the National Resistance Army bush war in 1981.

The general appealed to the Government to ensure he gets justice. When we visited the farm, Lutaaya had deployed several veterinary doctors to treat the injured animals. At least five cows were unable to walk.

“We went to the bush to fight for peace but it is a pity that these people can treat me this way. They should stop,” Lutaaya said.

He linked the attacks to a dispute over the land on which the farm sits. Lutaaya said there had been many court cases over the land but he won most of them.

“I have the judgments of cases I have won but I am tired of spending time and resources in court. I have on several occasions brought surveyors to open boundaries,” he said.

He, however, vowed not to give up on the land. “I acquired this land before I went to the bush. The people claiming ownership tried to acquire a piece of land in a different village in the late 1980s. The allegation that I am forcibly taking this land is false because I have enough evidence to prove it is mine,” Lutaaya said.

One of the survey reports indicates that the land belongs to Lutaaya.

“Being a UPDF officer does not mean that I do not have a right to own property. I acquired this land before joining the army and I cannot just let it go,” Lutaaya said.

“I am armed but I cannot shoot. People are provoking me with violence,” he said.

Perez Mucunguzi, the LC1 chairperson of Katambogo, said he also faced the same problem last year when over 40 head of cattle were cut by machete-wielding men. He said his son was also attacked but survived. The Police later arrested some suspects.

Mucunguzi called for peace and co-existence. “Some people are so jealous that if you acquire something good, they feel like taking it away,” he said. Mubende District Police commander Julius Ayimbisibwe said they had launched investigations into the case.

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Patrick Luwagga is the editorial director of cross-platform content for UGANDANZ. He works across the newsroom and with business partners to drive and develop ambitious editorial projects that include digital journalism, video, data research, polling, live events, and thought-leadership series that are supported by outside underwriting. As executive director, he is responsible for the creation of Political news section, prior to joining UGANDANZ, Patrick was the chief editor for the national weekly news magazine of Kasese Times. In that role, he covered several presidential elections, wrote and produced two television documentaries, and was a regular commentator on television and radio news programs. Patrick was born in Masaka and grew up in Kasese. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Makerere University where he was a Knight Foundation journalism fellow.