Tuesday July 29 2014

Tearful Eid for railway reserve encroachers

A boy seats on household property after KCCA evicted their family

A boy seats on household property after KCCA evicted their family from the railyway reserve yesterday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN WANDERA. 



As millions prepared to go to mosques to celebrate Eid el-fitr at 6am yesterday, Kampala Capital City Authority graders rolled on houses built in the railway reserve land.

Hundreds of railway reserve encroachers scampered to remove their property from the houses before the KCCA graders could destroy them.

Encroachers from Nakawa, Ndeeba and Nalukolongo, all suburbs of Kampala, were affected. However, there was less resistance than anticipated. Armed police officers witnessed the evictions.

Mr Peter Kaujju, KCCA spokesman, said many encroachers had removed their property from the railway reserve by the time they started the eviction. “Our graders were just removing debris that had remained in the area. The operation was successful,” Mr Kaujju said yesterday.

The railway line in Kampala had a 30-metre right of way but most of it had been occupied by encroachers.
Now, Uganda Railways Corporation and KCCA want to revamp passenger railway services to reduce traffic congestion in Kampala Metropolitan Area.

Earlier encroachers had asked for compensation before they leave….did they get ?.
Rubaga South Constituency Member of Parliament John Ken Lukyamuzi said the eviction was illegal since it defied both a court order and a Parliament’s decision to halt the process. “I am greatly saddened by what has happened. My people have lost a livelihood yet they have loans from banks. Others have no way they are going to spend a night,” MP Lukyamuzi said.

The legislator said the eviction started in the night and on a public holiday when some of the residents were sleeping yet evictions must be carried out during day and on a working day. “Twegate Women Group has secured a court order stopping KCCA and URC from evicting them but these people who have no regard for the law have violated it,” Mr Lukyamuzi said.


Tearful Eid for railway reserve encroachers