2,000 locals face eviction from land
Posted Tuesday, November 5 2013 at 02:00
Parliament-More than 2,000 residents from four villages in Ssembabule District face eviction after officials from Uganda Investment Authority sold four-and-half square miles without first giving them the opportunity to buy the land.
Speaking through their MP Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), the residents, who came to Parliament yesterday to petition Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, said as bona fide occupants, they were sidelined and [their] land was sold to Ms Keren Kayonga, whom they say, is a sister-in-law of Gen Salim Saleh’s wife.
“Uganda Investiment Authority is colluding with big people to evict 2,553 residents,” Mr Ssekikubo said. “They have forged transfer documents to evict the poor because they want money. Police is protecting Ms Kayonga and her cows, yet she is a trespasser on this land.”
Previously, the residents had petitioned Parliament and during investigations into the land wrangle in Ssemabule District, the Committee on Physical Infrastructure, which oversees land matters in the country, had instructed UIA officials to halt the transaction until further notice.
When contacted yesterday, Ms Kayonga asked: “Who is evicting them?” She also challenged the residents to show documents confirming ownership of the land in question and denied accusations that she is being protected by police in Ssembabule.
Asked why UIA did not give the residents the opportunity to buy the land and why they defied the House Committee directive to halt the transaction, UIA’s lands director, Mr Godfrey Ssemakula, declined to offer details and only said: “UIA has never evicted anybody.”