Eviction Report Divides Hoima District Councillors

1422 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
A security report on the August 25th eviction of 200 families in Bugambe sub county, Hoima District, has divided the district council members.

A security report on evictions in Bugambe sub county, Hoima District, has divided the district council members.
On August 25, this year more than 200 families were evicted from Rwamutonga village in Bugambe Sub County.
The residents were evicted from a 500-acre piece of land after a court order sought by Hoima businessman Joshua Tibagwa, who claimed ownership of the f land. Following the eviction several claims of human rights violations were reported at the police and other security agencies that implemented the court order. This attracted attention of Hoima district council.
During a council sitting about three weeks ago councillors tasked Hoima Resident District Commissioner to give a detailed report regarding the eviction and substantiate claims of human rights violations during the exercise. In response, Hoima RDC Godfrey Nyakahuma presented the report before council members during an extra-ordinary meeting on Monday.
In the report dated September 12, RDC Nyakahuma defended the eviction exercise as lawful and peaceful, saying neither his office nor the police have registered any criminal cases resulting from the eviction. To emphasize his point, Nyakahuma backed his document with a September 8 letter by the Uganda Human Rights Commission which he says also investigated the evictions and found no human rights violations as claimed.
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Nyakahuma also cautioned council members against discussing matters already in court. The RDC was responding to members' concerns about overstretching of the court order to include non-affected residents. Nyakahuma revealed that the evictees had already filed a court case challenging the court order and asked members not to discuss the issue.
But a group of councillors led by the Bugambe sub county female representative, Darlison Kusiima, rejected the report saying it lacked facts. Kusiima wondered why the RDC never mentioned in his report about a woman who was allegedly raped during the eviction and the gun shots that were fired at unarmed residents.
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Meanwhile, another group led by the male youth councillor Francis Kazini concurred with the RDC. Kazini argued that council risked being held liable for contempt of court for discussing matters before court.
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Speaker Nathan Kitwe Isingoma adjourned council without any resolution saying little was available for discussion and left the matter to be decided by court.