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Encroachers attack soldiers building Mandela Stadium Namboole

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Three UPDF soldiers were injured when defiant encroachers on land belonging to the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole attacked engineers on surveying duty.

The UPDF Engineering Brigade is currently renovating Namboole Stadium which started with the construction of the 4.2km perimeter wall surrounding every corner of the stadium.

The perimeter wall was intended to safeguard the stadium land from what the stadium management called encroachers. The wall covered almost the entire population of Kireka Zone B leaving hundreds of them homeless.

In January, the UPDF Spokesperson Brigadier Felix Kulayigye gave the encroachers up to the 15th of February to vacate the area.

According to a statement released on Thursday by Col. Deo Akiiki, Deputy Defence Spokesperson, residents led by Vice Chairman Godfrey Kawooya of the Katooke Zone led a group of defiant encroachers and attacked UPDF Engineers on duty with machetes, stones, arrows, and bows.

He explained that the Engineers were surveying part of the land that hosts Namboole stadium Complex in order to begin laying culverts and block manholes.

He added that; “the security detail protecting the site and workers, shot three warning shots to disperse Kawooya’s gang but in vain.

Chaos ensued and three of our soldiers were injured including Private Masereka Jackson, whose fingers were cut by panga welding gangs.”

He however said that they are yet to establish the civilians injured in the chaos.  Akiiki says that the Police has already joined the army to investigate the incident further.

For several years, Namboole Stadium management has accused hundreds of people living in Kireka Zone B of encroaching on the stadium land.

In 2019, Jamil Sewanyana, the Managing Director petitioned the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire land Commission to help them evict individuals and companies that had grabbed half of the 120 acres of land belonging to Namboole.

In his petition, Sewanyana said that the Government bought 103 plots on Kyadondo Block 232 and Block 234 to build a stadium and several people were compensated but many denied that they were ever compensated.

In an interview with URN earlier, Godfrey Kawooya, the Vice Chairman of Kireka Zone B said there are about 550 residents who are living in fear of eviction. He says that they have often time tried to engage the stadium management on the matter in vain.

“Our case is in the high court and the case will be heard in September. It is very sad that these people just came and demolished people’s houses without any warning. Many people have lost their properties in that kind of manner,” he said.

Kawooya insisted that block 232 on which his local council is situated, belongs to Kabaka Ronald Mutebi’s uncle known as Kisosonkole.

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