UPDF Conducts Fresh Survey for Disputed Masaka Airbase Land Top story

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In short
On Tuesday, a team of Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF officials led by Major General James Mugira, the Director General of the National Enterprise Corporation visited the disputed area and conducted an Ariel survey using UPDF helicopters.

At least 1200 families in Masaka district are on the verge of being evicted from their homes following the fresh survey of the disputed Masaka Airbase land. The disputed land measuring about 3 square miles seats on Block 332, plot 4 Buddu in Bukakata Sub County.
 
It covers several villages including Ssunga, Nabugabo, Bukumbula, Kigo, Nakatooke, Kasasa, Kisosa and Bbaale among others. On Tuesday, a team of Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF officials led by Major General James Mugira, the Director General of the National Enterprise Corporation visited the disputed area and conducted an Ariel survey using UPDF helicopters.
 
 
After the survey, Mugira, his team, Masaka Resident District Commissioner, Joe Walusimbi and LC V Chairman, Jude Mbabaali convened a meeting with some of the affected residents in Bukakata.


Mugira explained that they had agreed to exclude the areas where farmers are directly affected as well as compensate those who genuinely own land in the affected areas. Jude Mbabaali, the Masaka LC V Chairman, said they had struck a win-win deal to settle the long standing land feud.
 
 
He explained that following the fresh, evaluation the affected families have now reduced to 112. According to Mbabaali, UPDF has agreed to stay the eviction until the affected families are compensated adequately. He says they neutral valuer will be hired to determination the compensation for the affected people.

 
In 2014, Government launched a plan to establish an Air Force Base in the area because of its strategic location.  UPDF attempted to evict hundreds of people from the disputed land sparking protests from the affected people, saying they need compensation.
 
 
Last year, another team of Government officials led by Baguma Isoke, the Chairperson Uganda Land Commission rushed to Bukakata to compensate the affected residents. But the residents ejected the compensation package, saying it was too little.
 
 
Florence Namayanja, the Bukoto East MP, rallied residents to resist eviction until they are compensated appropriately. This forced President Yoweri Museveni to rush to the area in 2015 where he met the affected residents and persuaded them to leave.
 
 
Museveni promised to send a team of Government Valuers to evaluate the resident's property to pave way for their compensation.
 
 

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.