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Evicted peasants beg Museveni to resettle them

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By NELSON WESONGA

Posted  Tuesday, March 18  2014 at  02:00
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At least 700 peasants the government evicted from a piece of land in Kyegegwa District in western Uganda have requested President Museveni to resettle them. They say since the High Court in Fort Portal is taking long to dispose of a suit they filed in 2013, the President should intervene.

“Ever since we were evicted in 2013, we have been sleeping in churches and mosques. We cannot tend our gardens. We have been reduced to beggars. The President should help to resettle us, after all the people who evicted us claimed he issued the directive,” Mr Omuhereza Begira Kaheru, 70, said in Kampala on Monday.

According to a January 26, 2013 letter written by the President to Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, the minister of Water and Environment, the peasants, who he labelled as encroachers, had to be evicted.
In August, 2013, 35 of the 700 peasants petitioned the Fort Portal High Court to declare their eviction, which was allegedly carried out by the National Forestry Authority (NFA), illegal, high–handed and inhuman.

They asked the court to direct the NFA to allow them to return to the land, which the evictees say they legally own. They also want the court to award them damages for their crops and homes which forest authority officials allegedly destroyed.

nwesonga@ug.nationmedia.com