Monday March 11 2013

Mbarara court summons three officials over evictions


The High Court in Mbarara has summoned officials from police and Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) over evictions at the shores of Lake Nakivale.

Isingiro District police commander Kenneth Muhirwe, the Nakivale Refugee Settlement officer from the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Charles Bafaki, and deputy settlement commandant were summoned over contempt of court, and ordered to appear in court on March 13.

“...You are hereby commanded to appear before me on the 13th day of March 2013 at 10.00am to show cause as to why you should not be committed to civil prison for contempt of an order of court,” read assistant registrar Henry Twinomuhwezi’s the letter in part.

The evictions
This follows the on-going evictions of people living within 200 metres of the Lake Nakivale protection zone at the Nakivale Refugee Settlement Camp by National Environment Management Authority (Nema) officials who are supported the police and OPM officials.

Residents of Kakingi, Kashojwa, Mirambiro, Ihunga, Kyakabindi and Isingiro parishes in the Town Council, where the evictions are taking place, have a long standing case in court against the government for allowing refugees settle in their land.

The natives claim that bringing in refugees forced them to encroach on the lake shores.

OPM officials last year attempted to evict non-refugees from the settlement land, but the encroachers blocked the move by petitioning the Mbarara High Court.