The Speaker of parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga has decried the rampant land evictions currently going on throughout the country.
This comes after about 35,000 people from 20 villages in Kiryandongo were displaced and private firms are sharing their 9,300 acres of land for commercial farming. Some of the displaced people are from Kisalanda Village in Mutunda Sub-county
Over 14 primary schools, 20 churches have also been demolished!
According to the Speaker, One official claims that the Kiryandongo people went their on their own; without being allocated; and therefore government has come out to allocate the land for serious farming.
However, the speaker was not convinced by this claim ‘ ‘So if the people simply occupied the land, how did anyone, including government, construct 14 primary schools?’’ she said.
‘ ‘We need answers because progressively, we are creating a landless society and it seems it no longer raises any issue because evictions have become normal!’’
So far, Agilis Partners, a US company, Great Season, a firm owned by Sudan nationals, and Kiryandongo Sugar Limited have acquired the land under leasehold. The government says the contentious territory was empty space and unoccupied public land but residents claim they hold it under customary ownership.
Agilis Partners is currently preparing the land to grow simsim (sesame), maize, sunflower, and soybean. Kiryandongo Sugar Limited is planting and producing sugar and Great Season is growing coffee.
Read: German Investor sets up 05 Square miles of Maize in Kiryandongo
In his new year message, president Museveni warned that in the forthcoming year, he will not tolerate anyone evicting people from land
There have been rampant evictions in various parts of the country and most prominent one being the one in Lusanja where over 500 homesteads were demolished by businessman Medard Kiconco in Wakiso district.
“Most of the people being evicted are either the elders I led in the Resistance Wars or their descendants. They did not abandon the NRA and I will not abandon them. Land evictions will stop. I will directly lead the struggle against illegal land evictions.” Museveni said
Museveni said that the five categories of the legal bibanja owners are those whose ancestors were found on that land; those allowed on the land by the land owner or his agent; the bonafide occupants that were on that land by 1983; or the ones who bought or inherited from any of the four categories and those who have been on land for the past 12 years without anyone challenging their existence.
He said that State House lawyers are liaising closely with the Chief Justice to ensure they use legal means to safeguard people on their land.
“We cannot, however, tolerate the unfair treatment of our comrades in the struggle ─ the Bibanja owners,”Museveni noted.