The resettlement camp that is to be established in Rwentuha Sub County in Kyegegwa district will also cater for over 1,000 locals who were evicted from government forests in Kyenjojo and Kyegwegwa districts
Government is to establish a modern resettlement camp for over 5,000 Ugandan returnees who were expelled from Tanzania in 2013.
The resettlement camp that is to be established in Rwentuha Sub County in Kyegegwa district will also cater for over 1,000 locals who were evicted from government forests in Kyenjojo and Kyegwegwa districts.
Those who were expelled from Tanzania are currently settling at Kazinga in Kyegegwa district while those who were evicted from the forests are in temporary settlement camps at Kyegegwa prison land in Kyegegwa town council.
Although the land where the two categories of people are to be resettled is being occupied by encroachers, government has decided not to evict them but also accommodate them. State minister for disaster and preparedness, Musa Ecweru met with Kyegegwa district leaders on the modalities to resettle the people peacefully.
“We are not going to evict any one. But we are going to settle all the people on this land. There will be re-arrangement of land and the size owned by each individual will be reduced so that everyone gets a piece accordingly,” Ecweru said.
“The current land users, Ugandans expelled from Tanzania and Kyenjojo forest evictees have to share the government land in Kazinga, Kyaka II,” he added.
He revealed that this is the fairest thing government can do instead of evicting those who are there illegally.
However this did not go well with the Kyegegwa district leadership who are opposed to the resettlement.
The chairman LC5 John Kisoke, and other leaders opposed the minister saying that the land at Kazinga is too small for more people to be resettled there.
“The land at Kazinga is over populated already, where are you going to put all these people. As for us we are not in support of the resettlement,” Kisoke said.
But in response, Ecweru revealed that unless they get scientific proof that the land is too small and over populated already that is when they can look for another land.
“We shall bring surveyors who will open the boundaries, establish how big the land is, how many people are on that piece of land. If we really find the land is too small we look for an alternative,” Ecweru said.
Jackson Kafuzi, the MP for Kyaka South challenged government to sensitize the masses on the resettlement to avoid clashes.
“I’m afraid people might clash. We need to carry a lot of sensitization before these people are resettled there,” Kafuzi said.
Stella Kiiza, the Kyegegwa Woman MP requested government to avail a clear program and message regarding the resettlement.
“As leaders we are not convinced with this program. We need to get the whole package so that we can go in the community and talk from an informed point of view,” Kiiza said.
Before he could finish his submission, Ecweru interjected and urged the leaders not to worry.
“The resettlement is going to be modern. With a health facility, a school and other amenities that will enable the lives of these people to be good. All the information you need will be given to you,” Ecweru said.
Saveri Kasigwa, the LC1 Kazinga I expressed concern regarding how as locals they will relate with these new people from Tanzania.
“How are we going to relate with people we don’t know. Kazinga is too small kindly find another place,” Kasigwa said.
The resettlement exercise according to Ecweru will take about two months. “We want these people to be resettled very soon; so that by the time the rains come they will be able to grow crops. We also want children to be back in school,” Ecweru said.
The resettlement exercise will be spearheaded by Ecweru under, the Ecweru Resettlement Program. A 12 man committee has been selected to oversee the resettlement.