March 2, 2024

More than 7,000 people in Burora sub-county, Kagadi district face forceful eviction from their land.

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MPs Janepher and Barnabas addressing the affected persons in Kafene Trading centre, Burora Sub County Kagadi District on Friday

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KAGADI

The affected people are from the villages Nyakabingo B, Nyabugando East, Kafene, Kihumuro B, Kihumuro A, Nyabugando B in Kihumuro Parish and Kayembe, Karambi in Kayembe Parish all in Burora Sub County Kagadi district.

The residents are disagreeing with Faustine Ntambara, who is alleged to have bought this land and acquired a title for the land measuring about 1,262 acres.

The residents say for a long time, they have several times been threatened with forceful evictions from their ancestral land by the said Ntambara.

According to the residents, they have settled on the land since 1992 and wonder how Ntambara is claiming the land that was given to them by the office of the Prime Minister under the Ruteete Resettlement scheme.

Trouble started in 2017 when residents and the land title owner Ntambara signed a memorandum of understanding that he (Ntambara) remains with the 862 acres of land which he leased to the Indian investor and leaves the 400 acres to the residents.

However, Ntambara failed to honor the Memorandum of Understanding and went ahead to issue eviction warnings to the people on the 400 acre land

This compelled the aggrieved residents to protest by inviting their leaders to rescue them from what they called land grabbers.

Barnabas Tinkasimire, the Buyaga West Member of Parliament says that they rushed to the area after they received information that the aggrieved residents had received eviction warnings via the local radio station.

According to Barnabas, the land conflict between Ntambara and the locals has been ongoing for a long time. He adds that they have held a number of mediation meetings to harmonize the two parties but the land title holder has on several occasions changed his mind and dishonored the memorandum of understanding.

“This land conflict has been on for so long and we had in 2017 agreed that one Ntambara occupies 862 acres of vacant land and leave the other 400 acres of land occupied by residents. In the memorandum we signed with Ntambara, we agreed that he takes the land title to the ministry of lands for compensation which he has not done. We shall not allow any eviction here,” said Barnabas.

Barnabas said this while meeting the aggrieved residents at Kafene trading Centre, Burora Sub County Kagadi district on Friday.

The Kagadi district Woman Member of Parliament Janepher Kyomuhendo Mbabazi promised to take up the matter of the Ruteete resettlement scheme to the government for redress so that the tenants can be made the rightful owners of land and also acquire land titles and called on the aggrieved residents to remain calm. She cautioned security agencies and local leaders against conniving with Ntambara to terrorize the residents saying that she had already received reports that security teams are protecting the land grabber at the expense of the sitting tenants.

“Being in a resettlement scheme means we are still under the office of the Prime Minister and that we don’t have authority over this land. This is one of the issues we want the government to address and ensure that residents are made rightful landowners. This will help them process land titles in their names to protect their land from grabbers,” Said Mbabazi.

Mbabazi said they are worried that people in the neighboring district of Kikuube are living a miserable life after they were evicted from the land they had occupied for long, something which may happen to the people in Kagadi district if the government does not compensate the land title owner.

Dominah Nyirandamiye 82, Resident of Karambi village, one of the affected residents in Karambi village who acquire this land in 1992 by the office of the Prime Minister, wants the government to intervene and investigate how Ntambara acquired the land title on the land that was previously managed by government.

Deo Mbonigaba, a resident of Kayembe Village said they had engaged Ntambara to occupy only 862 acres of land and take the land title of the 400 acre land to government for compensation so that they can settle peacefully on their land but he refused. He wants the Office of the Prime Minister to immediately intervene and halt the eviction.

In 2017, Faustine Ntambara, appeared and signed a memorandum of understanding with residents and leaders accepting that he was to occupy only 862 acres which he leased off to the Indian Investor under Hoima Sugar factory and leave the rest 400 acres to the residents.

However, Ntambara during a phone interview denied allegations of evicting people but said he wants them to pay ground rent or buy themselves off to be the rightful owners of the land.

The contested land is part of Ruteete Resettlement scheme and comprises sub counties of Ruteete, Burora, Mpeefu formed in 1992.

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