Land ownership claims by one Andrew Tendo, purporting to be a prince from the royal linage of Ankole, has thrown Kyankwanzi residents in panic.
The over 3000 residents of Kasambya, Bugondi and Bugomolwa in the two sub counties of Byerima and Nsambya along the border with Kibaale district tasked their leaders on the authenticity of Tendo’s claims.
In a meeting addressed by Kyankwanzi district LC5 chairperson, Leopold Ddamulira Kinene and members of the district land board on Tuesday, the residents on the 777 acre land appealed for protection.
Ronald Lukamu the LC1 chairperson of Kasambya said it was a shock for the residents, when Tendo who was escorted by men in militarily gear entered residents’ homes and started taking pictures.
“I can remember he went to George Nkusi, Godfrey Musa, Livingstone Ntemu and others homes taking pictures of gardens, valley dams, domestic animals and houses without explaining any purpose”, Lukamu said.
He said they learned later that the intended purpose of the photos was to use them as false justification to the Kyankwanzi district land board to renew his lease.
Tendo on his part said he has owned the land since 1980s and that the residents used the vacuum of him living abroad to encroach on it for years.
The authenticity of Tendo’s claims of being an Ankole prince, could not be independently verified.
He said that the lease had been renewed by Kiboga district land board when Kyankwanzi was still under Kiboga for 10 years.
Lenard Ssemakula, a member of Kyankwanzi district land board, apologized to residents saying that they erred in renew Tendo’s lease aided by false information that he had developed the land as per the lease agreements.
He said it was done this year for 40 years while assuring residents that they would undertake lawful procedures required to revisit the lease if Tendo insisted on breaching the land laws.
Kinene assured residents that no illegal eviction can be condoned by the district leadership.