By Ssennabulya Baagalayina
Residents of Bukomansimbi went up in arms and hacked 17 heads of cattle belonging to area tycoons over failure to control the wandering animals that destroy their crops.
They later treated themselves to free meat and paraded the heads in the road protesting inconsiderate behaviour by the tycoons.
The incident happened in Kibaale-Kyaziiza village, Bigasa sub county in Bukomansimbi after repeated cries by residents over the destruction and loss of their crops were ignored.
The residents say they have been at loggerheads with the tycoons since 2009. The local tycoons are Gerald Ssemwogerere and a UPDF Major, Noah Kyimpaka.
They add that they have been to several authorities to address their plight, including the RDC, but they have been ignored.
“The leaders have been here several times and written reports but nothing has ever been done," they say.
"Court has also failed to help us because of the tycoons' influence,” they add.
They add that they have approached the herdsmen several times about the animals but instead just insult them.
The irate residents say at one time the herdsmen beat up a farmer who persistently complained to their bosses about the wandering animals.
The area leaders including LCI chairman Ben Magembe, secretary Steven Muwonge and information secretary Sulaiman Buteera say the tycoons act rude and arrogant whenever they reproach them about residents' concerns.
The sub county chairman, Joseph Kakooza, however condemned the act of residents taking the law into their hands and even sharing the meat amongst themselves, calling it an act of provocation.
Kakooza though added that it was the farm managers' fault that it came to this. He accused one Ssemwogerere, a son to Peter Ssemakula and the Major for disregarding agreed measures to ensure the animals do not wander to people's gardens.
Former Bukomansimbi MP, Hajji Iddi Lubyayi Kisiki talks to angry residents who have persistently complained about the wandering animals
The residents further said they have on several occasions talked to Ssemwogerere about the animals but he always told them off whereas the Major's herdsmen always abused them.
Chairman Lukwago says he even decided to abandon his farmland that is situated between the two tycoons' farms because he was always a victim of the wandering animals.
Lukwago says at one time the Major scoffed at him saying he would never appear in court over a mere kibanja owner.
Residents have now appealed to President Museveni, who is a neighbour at Kisozi, to prevail over the army man and Ssemwogerere who have made their lives a living hell.
The former Bukomansimbi MP, Hajji Iddi Lubyayi Kisiki visited the area and said residents took matters into their hands because they could not stomach it anymore.
Chairman Kakooza said a resident, Elifaz Ssentalo was rushed to hospital after he was beaten up by Ssemwogerere, further fuelling an already volatile situation.
The police are currently in the area to diffuse the tension. Efforts to reach Maj. Kyimpaka and Ssemwogerere have been futile.