The Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Judith Nabakooba, has assured residents of Hoima district of the government’s commitment to investigate the land issues in the district to establish who is in wrong and how harmony can be brought.
Nabakooba who was addressing residents in Hoima on February 22 said she had come across a number of allegations regarding what transpired in the district about the land evictions.
She said the matter has since been reported to different offices such as the State House Anti-Corruption Unit and the minister for presidency, and investigations by the lands ministry and the above offices have since been on-going.
“I have received a lot of allegations in regards to what transpired here in Hoima, and, as a result, I reported the matter to the minister for presidency and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit.
Investigations have since been on-going and we have received a lot of information regarding the matter,” she said.
She added: “I urge you residents of Hoima to give time for investigations to be carried out. I have since learnt that those claiming to own the disputed land claimed there were no people on the land. Investigations are being carried out and if it is established that this wasn’t true, then the commissioner land registration will do a public hearing which will lead to either the cancellation of the land title of those claiming the land or the reverse.”
The minister revealed that according to information she has received so far, the eviction was done illegally because the district security committee was not informed and also the people evicted were not notified.
“This eviction was not legally done. The district security committee was not informed and people were not notified. There was no court order and it happened at night. This means the destruction of property done by the perpetrators was illegal,” she said.
She directed the mediation committee and security in the district to allow the evicted people go back to their land as mediation goes on.
“The mediation committee and security present here, please allow all people who were evicted to go back to their land. Let mediation go one as people are on the land,” she said.
She also directed that a team in the district be constituted with members from the area and at least two officials from the lands ministry to help in the investigations.
About 1,500 families faced eviction in four different villages in Kapapi Sub-county, Hoima District.
The villages include: Waaki North, Kapapi Central, Waaki South, and Kiryatete.
They were allegedly evicted from land they have lived on for decades after a purported landlord used the Police and army to evict them.
The land in question measures 925.25 hectares is located in Kapapi, Kigorobya County, Hoima district.
Residents alledge that the purported landlord is conniving with security personnel in Hoima to grab huge chunks of land leaving the residents with no where to reside.
The Hoima district LC V Chairperson, Kirungi Kadiri, said the district now has about 18 pending land evictions. He said security agencies in Hoima are deeply involved in the land conflicts.
“The reality is that we have about 18 threatening land evictions and all of them have been on-going issues and cases in different parts of the district. The biggest problem is the conflict and confusion of security agencies most especially the Police that are soaked in the matter,” he said.
Robert Baguma, a Hoima district councilor, said most land evictions are being conducted by people coming from outside Bunyoro.
“Most evictions in the district are being done by people who coming from outside Bunyoro. You will find a Rwandese evicting people simply because they have money. We want the common man to be protected,” he said.
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