Ministry Of Defense To Evict 3000 In Hoima

3218 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
Over 3000 residents settling on the Ministry of Defence land in Kyangwali sub county, Hoima district face eviction as the army plans to establish a barracks in the area.

Over 3000 residents settling on the Ministry of Defence land in Kyangwali sub county, Hoima district face eviction as the army plans to establish a barracks in the area.

The affected residents are from the seven villages that lie in the two parishes of Kasonga A and B in the Kyangwali refugee settlement area.

The villages are Katikara 1, Katikara 2, Kabanena, Ngurwe, Ngoma, Nyakatehe and Kituti.

The army is currently registering all residents to know their number, how they acquired the land and the investments so far undertaken. The registration exercise begun on Monday and is being spearheaded by the Kyangwali army detach Commandant, Major Tom Okolong.

Lieutenant Colonel Joram Kagezi, the reserve commander Midwestern says the registration exercise is sanctioned by Major General Joram Mugume of the UPDF lands section. The exercise started after Mugume visited the area recently and found out that people had encroached on the army land.

Kagezi does not however, comment on when the barracks construction work would begin neither the eviction exercise referring journalists to Major General Joram Mugume.

But local leaders and residents in the sub county appear unhappy about the army’s move. Rwemera Mazirane, the Kyangwali Sub county LC3 Chairman blames the army for by-passing his office as they registered residents.

Mazirane claims, as the area leader, he needed to be informed by the army before embarking on the exercise. The LC3 Chairman says due to lack of involvement of the local leaders, some residents doubt the registration exercise.

Omuhereza Byemiire Bijampora, a resident of Katikara 1 village wonders what plans government has for them. Bijampora claims his great grand fathers were buried on the land and that he is a bonafide occupant who should not in any way be disturbed.

The resident also accuses Major Okolong of threatening them that he would forcefully evict them if they do not register. Major Okolong declined to talk to journalists on the matter.

Hoima Deputy RDC, Abdul Swamad Wantimba says genuine settlers on the land will be compensated according to the land law.

The Deputy RDC however maintains the land in question belongs to the ministry of defense, which has a title for it. He says the residents occupy it illegally.

According to Wantimba, the land earlier belonged to the refugee settlement camp under the prime minister’s office. But of recent the prime minister’s office gave 10 square miles of it to ministry of defense.