Nabakooba stops eviction of over 5,000 residents

Residents attend a meeting with Lands minister Judith Nabakooba to resolve land issues at Gayaza Sub-county in Kyankwanzi District on December 28. PHOTO/SHABIBAH NAKIRIGYA

What you need to know:

  • The minister says she first wants to know if those claiming to be the landlords used the right procedures to obtain the disputed land.

The minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Judith Nabakooba, yesterday stopped the eviction of more than 5,000 people from several pieces of land in Gayaza Sub-county and Kijuubya – Mbogobbiri in Kyankwanzi District.

While addressing the affected residents at Gayaza Sub-county headquarters, Ms Nabakooba suspended the eviction until thorough investigation are done to know the rightful owners. 

The minister also said she wants to know whether the landlords followed the right procedure to own the said land and if they have the updated leases.

“All the landlords who claim to be the owners must present all the required documents to the Ministry of Lands to reveal their ownership before taking any other action which may lead to the eviction of bibanja owners without following the law,” she said. 

The affected villages in Gayaza Sub-county include Kyerere North and East, and Kiyuni Central, which have about 213 families and 1,704 people. 

The other villages are Mboggobbiri, Kasambya, Bugando, Kyagandi, Galilaaya, Kamate, Kibologa Rwenzori, Kikuya and Kijubya.

The Gayaza Sub-county chairperson, Mr Leosan Ssebalunzi, said the residents have received threats of eviction from the disputed land since 2000. 

He said they have failed to meet the ‘real’ landlord.

“Many families have been displaced from the land already, while others have had their properties and crops destroyed,” he said.

Ms Nabakooba directed the Kyankwanzi Residence District Commissioner to investigate those claiming to be landlords obtained the disputed land. She gave him an ultimatum of two weeks to produce a report on the procedures the district land board used before issuing the leases to the said landlords.

Ms Nabakooba added that she was going to put caveats on all the disputed land to stop all transactions on it.“I have also stopped all the activities which are carried out on that land by the so called landowners because they do not have proof of right ownership. Others have failed to follow the right procedures of the law before evicting bibanja owners,” she said. 

The minister directed all those claiming to be the landlords to bring documents to the ministry to prove their ownership.

Ms Nabakooba ordered a thorough investigation to establish the rightful owners of the land after which she promised to call for another meeting to resolve the matter.