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August 26, 2011

Investor, Ugandan villagers clash over land

by Frederick Kiwanuka

A row has errupted over land boundaries between an Asian investor and residents of Butambuze village in Nyimbwa sub-county, Katikamu in Luweero district.

The villagers and LC officials accuse the investor, Mazhar Qureshi, of fencing off their land and blocking a path that leads to the village well. However, Qureshi also accuses the villagers of sabotage and trespassing on his farm.

He has a poultry farm on the 3-acre piece of land at Butambuze village.

The wrangle climaxed  when unknown people vadalised the fence that Qureshi had erected around the farm.

Qureshi vowed to deal with the saboteurs, saying the residents were ungrateful.

“I am employing their sons and have brought development, but they do not appreciate,” said the poultry farmer.

Qureshi said he had blocked the village path to stop villagers from passing through his farm and to avoid diseases that would kill his birds.

But Nyimbwa LC3 chairman, Fred Nyakairu and Butambuze LC1 chairman Ismael Ramathan, accuse the investor of harassing residents and undermining local leaders. Nyakairu said Qureshi has refused to pay taxes levied by the sub-county. He also refused to show the local authorities the plan of his farm houses when he was questioned about the project.

“Each time we go to him, he insults and threatens us,” Nyakairu explained

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