• Sun. Jun 11th, 2023

Namayumba Residents Protest Due to Fear of Losing their Land

UGANDA, Wakiso | Real Muloodi News | Residents of at least seven villages in Namayumba Sub-county, Wakiso District, are protesting due to fear of losing land to suspected land grabbers, allegedly protected by bouncers, disregarding government directives and a court order.

The current dispute revolves around Busiro Block 53 Plot 15, which measures 1,044.9 acres and is located in Namayumba Sub-county, Wakiso District. The land is home to at least seven villages, and hundreds of vulnerable residents have been living there for decades.

The conflict has been compounded by suspected land grabbers who have been trying to take over the land. These individuals have been protected by a group of bouncers, making it difficult for the residents to challenge their actions.

The land grabbers have been surveying and demarcating the land, ignoring government directives and court orders.

To stop the illegal survey and demarcation of the land, the residents led by Godfrey Mayere of the affected villages have petitioned President Museveni and Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba. They have also pitched camp at the Wakiso Resident District Commissioner’s (RDC) office seeking intervention in the matter.

However, the RDC, Ms Justine Mbabazi, has been unavailable for comment, leading to frustration among the residents. They are concerned that their voices are not being heard and that they are at risk of being evicted from their homes.

Some of the bibanja holders have expressed fear that they may be harmed by the men who are guarding and demarcating the land.

“Our leaders have not helped us. We are asking the President to intervene and stop land grabbers targeting our bibanja. Several villages are going to be evicted if nothing is done. We fixed an appointment with the RDC but when we reached here, her aide told us that she is not available and that we try again next month,” Mr Mayere said.

He added: “This is strange because she had accepted to meet us the previous day. We wanted to inform her about illegal demarcation of the land in question and illegal registration of some bibanja holders that was ongoing despite a directive by Lands minister Nabakooba.”

Meanwhile, efforts have been made to resolve the conflict, with government officials visiting the land for a fact-finding mission.

However, investigations into the matter have been delayed due to the complex nature of the family feud underlying the dispute.

The Ministry of Lands has assured the residents that no one will be evicted from the land while investigations are ongoing.

Mr Mayere said: “During the meeting that we held with the administrators of the land, RDC and officials from the Ministry of Lands last year, we agreed that no bibanja holders should be evicted. But as we speak, the demarcation is going on, in addition to illegally registering some bibanja holders.”

“A national identity card and a sales agreement are some of the requirements they are asking people to present before they are registered. We are worried that we might be evicted yet we have been paying busuulu (lease fees) to the landlord. That is why we decided to come here and share our plight with the RDC,” he added.

However, Mr Edward Kirumira, the Wakiso District Councillor for Namayumba Sub-county, said some individuals had defied the minister’s directive of halting the demarcation exercise.

“The minister suspended all illegal activities that were going on but these people have never relented. They continue demarcating the land. That is why my people have decided to run to the RDC’s for help,” Mr Kirumira said.

The residents of the affected villages are eager for a resolution to the conflict, which has left them living in fear and unable to engage in productive work.

They are hoping that the government will intervene to protect their rights and prevent them from being evicted from their homes.

The situation has become so dire that some residents are no longer able to carry out productive work as they spend most of their time running from one office to another seeking help.

The conflict has also led to food insecurity, as some residents are afraid to access their gardens to pick food due to fear of harm from the men guarding and demarcating the land.

Despite efforts by the government to intervene and resolve the conflict, some individuals have continued to defy directives from the Lands Ministry, leading to the ongoing demarcation exercise. This has further fueled tensions among residents, who fear that they may be evicted from the land they have occupied for decades.

The residents are calling on President Museveni to intervene and put an end to the illegal survey and demarcation of the land. They are also urging the government to expedite the process of resolving the conflict and providing them with feedback as soon as possible.

The case of the disputed Wakiso land highlights the need for effective land management and conflict resolution mechanisms in Uganda. It also underscores the importance of protecting the rights of vulnerable groups, such as bibanja holders, who often face the risk of eviction due to conflicts over land ownership.


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