By Donald Kiirya in Jinja
Some 20 families in Jinja town were reduced to watching their household items thrown out of their homes following an eviction order by the Chief Magistrates Court in Jinja to pave way for the proprietor to redevelop the plot.
The Friday eviction exercise turned chaotic as the angry, visibly helpless tenants tried to put up a fight, and it required the intervention of police for the proceedings to continue uninterrupted.
The building in which the families lived is located on Plot 20 along Lubas road.
The premises served both residential and commercial purposes, housing shops and saloons and rooms for students of Makerere University Business School (MUBS) Jinja branch.
A group of determined men from Spear Link Auctions and Court Bailiffs stormed the building led by their managing director Moses Kirunda.
They were armed with machetes, axes and ironbars for use in breaking down doors and smashing out windows. Some of the shops were locked with chains and padlocks, but the unwavering bailiffs made easy work of ripping them apart.
(PHOTOGRAPHER: Donald Kiirya)
The eviction faced resistance from the angry tenants
The OC of Jinja Central Police Station, Felix Mugizi led the security officers deployed at the location
The baillifs, mostly young strong men, were hardly shaken by protests from the adamant occupants
The evicted tenants did not hide their rage over the exercise. These two women let out their bitterness
Doors were knocked down and windows smashed into during the operation
They threw out whatever they found inside the shops and homes, leading to frustrated tenants charging at them. But any such resistance was subdued by the heavy police presence at the scene.
Anti-riot policemen led by the officer-in-charge of Jinja Central Police Station, Felix Mugizi surrounded the area along Lubas road to ensure the eviction went on without interruption – a protection bubble for the court bailiffs.
Pieces of broken glass littered the ground as some of the men started to erect a fence around the property.
Reports of who owns the premises remained divided. Some residents said it is Musa Yusuf Bashir of Hared Petroleum Company. Others insisted the proprietor is Saleh Munassar whose name was on the court order.
But it is reported that Musa Yusuf Bashir bought the building at shs620m through his lawyers Muziransa and Company Advocates.
Munassar, who was not present at the time of the eviction, is said to have gone through his bailiffs to effect the eviction order from Jinja High Court.
The building in question is located on Plot 20 along Lubas road
All the items in the rooms and shops were thrown out
Some 20 families lived in the premises that also housed several shops
There was heavy police presence to at the location oversee the eviction exercise
Resident Abdallahamed Shaffi said the belonged to the defunct custodian board and so he strongly felt the government needs to come to the tenants’ rescue.
Some tenants tried to pick out what they could of their property as the eviction was underway. Some, desperate and stranded, cried.
Yet others did not just sit back as the scenario unfolded. A handful of them started to stone the bailiffs, and police responded by firing tear gas at them.
A court order was issued by the Chief Magistrates Court in Jinja under civil suit No. 300, 293, 298, 296 all of 2013.
It read in part: “Your are hereby ordered and commanded to put the said Saleh Munassar and two others as aforesaid, in the possession of the said premises by way of eviction and removal of all the occupants, agents and servants occupying the said premises in contravention of the law and court orders.”
HE TRIED TO RESIST, BUT . . .