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Africa News Mon, 29 Jun 2020

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MP Allan Ssewanyana arrested for inciting violence

Makindye West Member of Parliament, Allan Ssewanyana has been arrested at a demolished Kyengeza, Munyonyo market in Makindye Division, Kampala.

A combined force of environment police and National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) demolished structures in an ongoing eviction of encroachers on Monday morning.

Police accused the MP of inciting violence.

The MP had visited the scene to assess the losses suffered by vendors.

"Don't sit back as police demolish your structures. And moreover, they are acting in a way that we as leaders are not informed," Mr Ssewanyana said before his arrest.

Makindye West Member of Parliament, Allan Ssewanyana has been arrested at a demolished Kyengeza, Munyonyo market in Makindye Division, Kampala.

A combined force of environment police and National Environmental Managemnet Authority (NEMA) demolished structures in an ongoing eviction of encroachers on Monday morning.

Police accused the MP of inciting violence.

The MP had visited the scene to assess the losses suffered by vendors.

"Don't sit back as police demolish your structures. And moreover, they are acting in a way that we as leaders are not informed," Mr Ssewanyana said before his arrest.

The vendors said they had been paying for space between Shs1 million and Shs 2 million to some local leaders.

In a June 8 letter, NEMA executive director, Dr Tom Okurut, ordered residents of Sankala Village, Makindye Division, to vacate the wetland with immediate effect.

The eviction is part of the ongoing operation to clear wetlands of encroachment.

More than 10,000 people will be evicted from wetlands in Kampala Metropolitan area by the end of this year, the Deputy Commander of the Environmental Police, Kampala Metropolitan, Mr Emmanuel Esabu told Daily Monitor.

ASP Esabu was speaking from Kyengera after erasing illegal perimeter fences erected within Kyengera and Lubigi wetlands.

“We are enforcing an order by the President to evict all illegal encroachers in wetland, forests, lake shorelines and other environment gazette areas. In Kampala Metropolitan alone, there are at least 10,000 people who are illegally living in wetlands and we will have them removed,” Esabu said.

The erased perimeters yesterday covered at least three acres- one acre in Lubigi near the Kyengera Entebe Expressway flyover and had been fenced by one Said Katumba.

Another targeted area is along Salaama Road in Kampala and Esabu said that evictions here were scheduled on Monday (today).

In Entebbe, Namiiro wetland system overlooking Entebbe International airport and covering 3km where 1,500 people are settled will be restored. ASP Esabu said that after evictions within Kampala metropolitan, we “will then extend to Lake Kyoga and Kwania District”.

Daily Monitor understands that following the presidential directive to evict encroachers in wetlands, forests and shorelines, the Office of the Prime Minister released funds to ensure the implementation of Museveni’s order. The matter has also been endorsed by the National Security Council.

But there is growing scepticism those will actually leave places where they have been told to vacate.

On November 5, 2019, police arrested one Kennedy Muwana, a son of city businessman John Ssebalamu, who was supervising the construction of housing units in Nyanama-Mutundwe wetlands in Rubaga Division but by today, houses are nearly complete.

Responding to the threats to be evicted, Kilak county MP Gilbert Olanya said that he had mobilized fellow residents to wait for police.

“We know NEMA is being used by tycoons to take over our land. But we are eager to receive them here. We are ready to defend our rights,” Mr Olanya said.

Source: monitor.co.ug

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