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Govt gives locals more time on investor’s land

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Gen Katumba Wamala (L), the Chief of Defence Forces, flanked by former minister for Finance Gerald Ssendaula (C), and other prisons and police officials during the Annual General Meeting of the Wazalendo Sacco at the Uganda Military Engineering College in Lugazi on Wednesday. Gen Wamala advised soldiers to be cautious while acquiring bank loans. He urged them to save more and invest their money. PHOTO BY JOSEPH KIGGUNDU 

By Dan Wandera

Posted  Thursday, March 20  2014 at  22:30
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Nakaseke.

The government has given a two-month extension to 150 families in Kaweweta parish, Nakaseke District facing eviction to stay on land given to a Turkish investor so that they can find alternative areas for resettlement.

The army had evicted about 30 families from the 18 sq miles of land last week when the process was halted as local leaders protested the timing.
“We agreed to have the dates for eviction of families to be extended to May 5. We hope this time is enough to enable these families relocate,” Mr Fred Rwabirinda, the Kinyogoga Sub-county councillor, said yesterday.
“The government had considered a forceful eviction early this month but we thought that the process was unfair to families which have lived on this land for more than 40 years,” he added.

A Turkish firm, ASB Group of Companies, will establish a Shs75 billion multi-purpose agricultural and agro-processing project on the land.
The district chairperson, Mr Ignatius Kiwanuka Koomu, appealed to the government to consider compensating the residents and give them another section of army land.

“It is true that these people were staying on this land illegally but are at the same time Ugandans who need to be shown mercy. It would be a good gesture if the government carved out 5 square miles from the army land and gives it to the affected families,” Mr Koomu said.

museveni’s offer
While launching the agricultural project last month, President Museveni said the families should not demand for compensation since he did not invite them on government land. He advised the residents to register with authorities so that the government can assist them.