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Police Teargas Health Workers Protesting Theft of Hospital Land


Police in Jinja City used tear gas to disperse Jinja Referral Hospital health workers who had staged a sit-down strike within the hospital premises. The health workers were protesting Minister Samuel Mayanja’s decision to allocate 4.6 acres of contested land to the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) for development.
Despite the police deploying personnel, tear gas vehicles, and detectives, the health workers remained steadfast, camping at the hospital’s main gate. They blew ambulance sirens, vuvuzelas, and whistles while demanding the halt of ongoing developments on the disputed land.

The situation escalated when police fired tear gas at the protesting health workers who refused to leave the hospital gate. Minister Mayanja’s decision aimed to resolve a 15-year land dispute between Jinja Hospital and UMSC dating back to 2015. However, the health workers argue that the Uganda Land Commission sued UMSC for trespassing on the same land.
Justice Michael Elubu ruled in 2022 that the land had been reserved for hospital expansion, affirming their right to use it. The health workers claim that despite directives from authorities, construction on the land continues unabated.
Samuel Kasibante, the hospital’s senior laboratory technologist, emphasized the urgency of saving public property, especially as the hospital plans to construct a blood bank to address the high prevalence of sickle cell in the Busoga sub-region.

David Ssemakula, the hospital’s principal administrator, expressed concern about police using tear gas near the emergency ward with critically ill patients. He stated ongoing discussions with police and stakeholders to resolve the matter amicably.
Jinja Central Police Commander, Innocent Mubangizi, assured efforts to restore order. Sheikh Adhi Basoga, the Kadhi of Jinja district, reiterated their claim to the land and urged government agencies to avoid double standards in land allocation, which can lead to conflicts among communities.
*Source – URN*


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