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Saturday,October 31,2020 14:20 PM

Army to displace villages in Hoima

By Vision Reporter

Added 18th August 2009 03:00 AM

OVER 4,000 residents in seven villages of Kyangwali sub-county in Hoima district face eviction. The land will be used to establish an army base for the protection of the oil reserves in the region.

OVER 4,000 residents in seven villages of Kyangwali sub-county in Hoima district face eviction. The land will be used to establish an army base for the protection of the oil reserves in the region.

By Pascal Kwesiga and Henry Mukasa
OVER 4,000 residents in seven villages of Kyangwali sub-county in Hoima district face eviction. The land will be used to establish an army base for the protection of the oil reserves in the region.

The residents, led by their local leaders and the MP for Buhaguzi, Tomson Abwooli Kyahurwenda, have vowed to resist the eviction saying the land was inhabited by their ancestors.

The land in question measures about 15 square miles and covers the villages of Katikara 1, Katikara 2, Kituti Kasonga, Kabenena, Ngurwe and Ngoma.

Kyahurwenda has written to the defence minister, Dr Crispus Kiyonga, protesting the army’s ‘illegal’ demarcation of the disputed land.

He said officials from the prime minister’s office had demarcated the land.

Kyahurwenda said the officers led by a man only identified as Bataali, had marked the land.

“I seek your urgent intervention. Change your decision to grab the land whose owners have had it customarily since time immemorial,” the letter, also copied to the Prime Minister said.

The MP explained that the people the army wants to evict helped the Government in 1967 to establish a refugee camp measuring approximately 145 square kilometres.

In 1998, due to encroachment, the land was surveyed, marked and reduced to 98 square kilometers.

“The demarcations of the 98 square kilometers are known and there is no dispute. Over 79 homesteads were here in 1967 but have multiplied to nearly 240 homesteads now. Other people from various tribes have also settled on the land,” Kyahurwenda wrote.

He also said he would petition the Speaker of Parliament and might consider going to court.

He invited Kigongo to visit the affected area and address the concerns of the residents.

He said the Government must respect their entitlements just as the residents respected the boundaries of the refugee settlement.

Army spokersperson Maj. Felix Kulayigye, however, said what the army was allocated was part of Government land, adding that Kyangwali like other refugees camps of Acholi Pii, Kyaka I, Kyaka II and Nakivale sits on Government land.

“When Rwandese refugees left in 1994, many people encroached on the refugee camp land thinking that Government will never come back to reclaim it,” Kulayigye argued.

The residents have also petitioned President Yoweri Museveni to halt the project and first discuss with the rightful owners.

The Kitakara LC I chairman, Mugenyi Tibamwenda, said army officers had planted mark-stones claiming they had acquired the land.

He said residents had abandoned agriculture because of fear that they would be evicted from their land soon.

Tom Muhe Bigabwenkya, a sub-county councillor warned of serious consequences for the National Resistance Movement during the 2011 general elections.

The mid-western regional Police commander, Marcellino Wanitto, has promised to take up the matter to ensure that it is resolved amicably.

Army to displace villages in Hoima

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