June 15, 2024

Leaders in Bunyoro cry out over increase in land eviction cases

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In March this year, more than 500 families in Kapapi and Kiganja sub-counties were brutally evicted from their homes. Police and private security guards reportedly torched more than 50 homes and looted an unspecified number of animals, including cows and goats.

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Leaders in Bunyoro are sounding the alarm over the increasing number of brutal land evictions in the region. Despite various strategies put in place to prevent the vice, it has persisted and continues to affect several families who face the threat of eviction or have already been forcibly evicted from their ancestral land.

In March this year, more than 500 families in Kapapi and Kiganja sub-counties were brutally evicted from their homes. Police and private security guards reportedly torched more than 50 homes and looted an unspecified number of animals, including cows and goats.

The affected people, mainly cultivators, and pastoralists, were feuding with Moses Asiimwe, a tycoon in Hoima City, over approximately 5 square miles of land covering the villages of Waaki North, Kapapi Central, Waaki South, Runga, and Kiryatete.

Pius Wakabi, the Bugahya County Member of Parliament attributes the trend to the oil discovery and ongoing oil activities in the region. He says that the discovery has created a demand for land for various investments, leading to several speculators and land grabbers invading the region and fraudulently acquiring titles on people’s land.

Wakabi calls on the government to provide free land titles to residents in Bunyoro to prevent further fraudulent land grabbing.

Ali Tinkamanyire, the Buseruka sub-county LCIII Chairperson, notes that the situation is more alarming in his sub-county. Several families are currently under threat of eviction from land they have settled on for decades.

Harriet Businge, the Hoima woman Member of Parliament, warns that without immediate intervention by the government, most families in Bunyoro will be rendered landless. She calls on the government to accord Bunyoro special consideration and prevent the rampant land evictions in the region.

Patrick Musinguzi, a resident of Kigorobya sub-county, says that prior to the oil discovery, no land evictions were being witnessed in the Bunyoro sub-region, and the government must take responsibility for protecting people’s land in the region.

Peter Banura, the Buliisa LCV Chairperson, describes the current trend of evictions as appalling, with many families spending sleepless nights. In Hoima, over 2,000 families in Hoima district face eviction from their ancestral land. The affected families are residents of Rwobunyonyi, Kirindasojo, and Kihohoro villages in the Buraru sub-county.

They are feuding with Fred Mugamba, a tycoon in Hoima City, over land measuring 810 hectares. The families claim to have occupied the contested land since the 1940s and accuse Mugamba of slashing their crops and torching their houses.

During his visit to Bunyoro in January last year to commission oil roads, President Yoweri Museveni tasked Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to intervene in the escalating land-grabbing issues in the region and provide him with a report so that the land grabbers can be dealt with once and for all.

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