By Thomas Tumwebaze
Over 15,000 residents on the disputed land in Nyabutanzi and Pachwa Sub-Counties in Kagadi district have appealed to authorities to protect them from the threats of eviction by the alleged land grabbers that are claiming ownership of their lands.
The affected residents are from the villages of Kasoga LC1, Kimanya A, B, and C in Nyabutanzi Sub County and Kibooga, Kabwotero, Kasonga, villages in Pacwa Sub County, Kagadi district.
The Local leaders from Nyabutanzi and Paacwa sub-counties allege that they have been receiving unsigned and forged documents designed as Memorandums of Understanding between the land grabbers and area leaders all intending to grab their lands.
The purported owners of the land in question are Mrs. Annet Namatovu and Mr. John Lwanga children to late Biriko Yiga claiming to be the owners of the contested Mailo land measuring 44,442Hectares on Kasonga Buyaga block118 plot 22 acquired in 1932.
The two have already asked residents to prepare for a demarcation exercise.
Pending demarcation exercise, on Thursday, the Buyaga East Member of Parliament Eric Musana and the Kagadi district Woman Member of parliament Janepher Kyomuhendo Mbabazi held a meeting with residents and local leaders at Kabarungi trading center in Paacwa sub-county to find means of solving the matter.
According to Paacwa leaders, the majority of the residents occupied the land (Bibanja) in 1970’s.
George Asiga, the Paacwa Sub County Chairman LC3 said he is also affected by the land title and that they will have nowhere to go after being evicted.
“Why are these people torturing Ugandans on their land? We have been on this land for long and no one has ever claimed it. How come that they are coming now?” Asiga decried
They asked their Members of Parliament to intervene as soon as possible.
Addressing residents, the Buyaga East Member of parliament Eric Musana urged the residents to remain calm assuring them that no one will evict them from their Bibanja.
“Being with a land title is not theft, but our President ordered all mailo land title holders to seek compensation from the Uganda Land Commission. So we shall ask these people to also seek compensation and leave the land to you;” Musana said
Musana appealed to the land owners to take the title to the government for compensation if they think it is a genuine one.
The Kagadi district woman Member of Parliament Janepher Kyomuhendo Mbabazi also appealed to the residents to stop panicking over the matter.
“There is no one going to evict you from your land. Trust us as your leaders and also trust our NRM government and President Museveni,” Kyomuhendo assured residents.
She asked residents to actively participate in the ongoing Parish Development Model to ensure that their household incomes are elevated.
“Government cannot invest all this money in PDM to people who are going to be evicted and no Ugandan sho is supposed to be evicted from the land that he or she is surviving on,” Janepher added.
She asked residents to continue carrying out their economic activities as they seek a permanent solution to the land in question.
Efforts to get a comment from the alleged owners of the land title were futile since their details could not be found by the time we compiled the story.
Last Month, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Judith Nabakooba handed over 800 land titles to residents of Kagadi Sub County after the absentee landlords were compensated by the Uganda Land Commission.
However, eviction threats are still carrying on in sub Counties of Mpeefu, Kyaterekera, Ndaiga, Paacwa, Kinyarugonjo arising from the absentee landlords.