Wakiso Pastor Stabbed to Death in Land Dispute

Wakiso Pastor Stabbed to Death in Land Dispute

, Tragedy struck in Wakiso, a prominent pastor was stabbed to death by a woman in a dispute over land. The incident highlights the rampant land conflicts in Uganda, which have claimed many lives in the past.

Police in Kasangati Town Council, Wakiso district have detained a woman accused of stabbing a pastor to death over a land dispute.

After a dispute on Thursday night, the suspect, Bushirah Nekesa, who is being held at the Kasangati police station, is accused of stabbing Pastor Julius Omara Nyerere with a sharp knife.

According to ASP Luke Owoyesigyire, deputy spokesperson for the Kampala Metropolitan Police, the deceased, a pastor at the Pure Heart Miracle Centre International Church, lived next door to Nekesa (the murderer) in Kyankima village, Kasangati.

Initial reports state that on June 1 at around 8:00 pm, Nekesa and Omara got into a fight when Omara attempted to take down the iron sheets that she had put to block the way.

Uganda has a long history of land conflicts, which are often complex, multi-faceted, and prolonged. In Wakiso, a district of central Uganda, the fight for land has intensified in recent years due to population growth, pressure on limited resources, urbanization, and a booming real estate industry. Wakiso is an agricultural area, and most residents derive their livelihoods from farming. The district is also home to several religious organizations, including the church where the slain pastor worked.

The killing of the pastor has sent shockwaves across the region, with many people mourning the loss of the respected religious leader. The incident has also exposed the dangers of land conflicts in Uganda, which have led to countless deaths and displacement of people. The status of the disputed land remains unclear, and the parties involved are still grappling with the aftermath of the incident. The case is also likely to drag on for years, highlighting the need for faster and fairer resolution of land disputes.

Again, on Thursday, Nekesa reported to the LC1’s office accusing the pastor of extending his church a few feet into her land.

“We reached the land in dispute and resolved it by having a meeting on Sunday. Each of them was supposed to come along with land documents then we take clear measurements, that could give us final discussion,” Muyanga said.

Muyanga added that at about 8:00 pm, he received a call from the residents reporting Omara’s death.

They alleged that he had been stabbed by Nekesa, who later fled the scene.
“Later I found out that she had already reported herself to Police in Kasangati and was arrested,” he said.

Prossy Mirembe, the widow, said as she was returning from work, she met Nekesa fighting with her husband. “We managed to separate the two, but the pastor was losing a lot of blood,” Mirembe said.

Efforts to save the pastor’s life at the hospital proved futile as doctors at Peoples Medical Centre, Gayaza said he had already died.

Peter Opedum, the assistant pastor, said the body was taken to the mortuary and burial arrangements are ongoing. He added that the body will be taken to Nagongera in Tororo district where he will be buried.

The Wakiso land dispute is a poignant reminder of the critical role of conflict resolution in land-related conflicts. The government should invest more in improving land governance, enhancing the capacities of dispute resolution institutions, and promoting efficient and transparent land administration systems. There is also a need for education programs that sensitize people on land tenure rights, land valuation, and land rights. Such initiatives can go a long way in preventing conflicts, reducing the number of killings, and promoting peaceful coexistence in the community.

The death of the Wakiso pastor is another grim reminder of the challenges facing Uganda’s land sector. The dispute highlights the need for a paradigm shift in the approach to land governance, away from the current system that favors the powerful and wealthy. The government should focus on promoting social justice, equity, and inclusion in land management, taking into account the needs and aspirations of the poor and vulnerable. Only then can Uganda break free from the cycle of land conflicts and killings.

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