UGANDA, Kikuube | Real Muloodi News | Over 1,000 residents in Kikuube, mainly women and children, evicted from the villages of Bukinda, Kavule, Kyeya, Bwizibwera Nyaruhanga, Kabirizi, Nyamigisa and Katoma, among others in Kyangwali Sub-county, are contesting a letter from President Museveni referring to them as liars and thieves.
The President’s letter dated July 17th, 2022, addressed to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, referred to the evicted residents as liars who want to steal government land.
The president further stated in the letter that he got a report from Brigadier Henry Isoke of the State House Anti-corruption unit saying that the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom gave out 60 square miles of land in 1960 to help refugees and foreigners coming to the Bunyoro Kingdom.
The evicted residents have pitched camp at the Resident District Commissioner’s office since February, claiming they are the genuine owners of over the 36 square kilometres of land they are contesting against the Kyangwali Refugee settlement camp.
In the letter, the president added that in 1960, very few Banyoro and Batoro were in the area that is being claimed by the ‘liars’. He adds that some years ago, the former Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda proposed that 10 square miles be deducted from the contested land to settle the claimants. This would give 8 square miles to those from far away and 2 square miles to the indigenous Banyoro and Batooro, whereby each family would get 2.5 acres.
The president has therefore directed the Prime Minister to order the evictees to accept the 2.5 acres allocated to each family. Other than that, the president says that they shall give up even the 2.5 acres and stop disturbing public peace with lies.
He warned against people stealing government land and falsely claiming other people’s land.
The aggrieved residents, however, say that the president is wrong about the conflict because most of the people he sends to investigate the issues are already compromised people who end up returning wrong information.
Staratori Mutagamba, 65 years also a resident of the contested land, says that the president’s letter has brought back their untold suffering of over 13 years because their only hope, the president, is not helping.
Laurencio Tibesigwa, 70 years, is also another evicted resident of the Kikuube land who discloses that his grandparents settled on the same land in the 1950s. He wondered when the government had acquired the land and demanded that the president comes on the ground to ascertain the truth about the contested land.
Another resident of the contested land, Justine Kusiima, 73, says people sent by the president to investigate the matter have given him wrong information and that only the president can get the right information about the land.
The responsible officials from the settlement camp and those from the office of the prime minister, have been in wrangles with the residents since 2013 over ownership of the land.
In 2013, over 60,000 people were evicted from the contested land by officials from the settlement, the office of the prime minister and the UPDF.
However, in October 2021, Prime Minister Nabbanja found that some officials from her office and the settlement had connived to fraudulently grab the land from the locals. She stopped all activities from her office until all investigations into the land wrangles are completed.
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