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93-year-old man accuses Pastor of land grabbing

KIKUUBE – The 93-year-old man and his family members have petitioned the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Amlan Tumusiime, seeking his intervention into a land wrangle they are embroiled in with Prince Pastor Steven Kyebambe.

Prince Steven Kyebambe is a renowned Pastor of Gospel Center Church, Kawaala in Kampala and a member of the Royal Clan (Babito) in Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom.

Anatori Girayitima, a resident of Kachungiro village in Kinogozi parish, Buhimba sub-county, Kikuube district claims that he acquired the land during his youthful days in the 1940’s.

He accuses Pastor Kyebambe for illegally grabbing his 68 acres of land where he has stayed with his family for over 70 years.

According to him, Kyebambe used his influence and cancelled a title which he acquired from the Hoima District Land Board.  He noted that, his troubles started in 2013 when Kyebambe started claiming ownership of his land.

Girayitima said, he had a farm and family house on this land but Kyebambe with the help of police harassed his family and ended up evicting them from the land.

According to him, Pastor Kyebambe evicted his family and annexed 64 acres of land after he cancelled his (Girayitima) land title.

He added that, Kyebambe connived with Sarah Kurata who was the registrar of titles from the Ministry of Lands and cancelled his title without giving him fair hearing.

“I have come to the office of the RDC to help me get back my land and I also want to know why my title was cancelled without hearing my side,” the old man asked.

Janepher Kaahwa 36, a granddaughter to the old man said, they lost their family home and other properties including livestock adding they are now living in misery.

She said, they have moved to different offices including court seeking for help, but they have not helped them.

She added that her grandfather is incapacitated, adding that Pastor Kyebambe is using that advantage to harass and evict them from their land.

However, Pastor Kyebambe denied the claims of grabbing Girayitima’s land saying, in 2013 he was given powers of Attorney by Omukama of Bunyoro Kitara kingdom, Dr. Solomon Iguru to develop and secure all the investment on the land.

He said, the land measuring 250 acres is an ancestral land of the Royal Clan adding that Girayitima had encroached on the land and processed a title illegally.

He explained that in 2013, Girayitima filed a case against him (Pastor) over this land at Hoima Chief Magistrate’s Court but Girayitima lost the case.

Girayitima protested the ruling and appealed at Masindi High Court where he lost the case for the second time.

RDC Tumusiime who visited the contested land expressed concern over the increasing number of tycoons grabbing land from the poor and condemned Kyebambe’s act adding his act was inhuman.

During the visit the RDC and his team found Kyebambe’s cows grazing on the contested land.

He promised to summon Pastor Kyabambe to explain the process he passed through to cancel the old man.

He also promised to petition the Office of the Kingdom Prime Minister, Andrew Byakutanga, to help and clarify if Omukama offered land to Pastor Kyabambe.

He also explained that Sarah Kurata, who signed the cancellation of the old man’s title, was recently dismissed on recommendation of the Inspector General of Government (IGG) over issues related to land matters.

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