Government could soon start relocating hundreds of people who had illegally settled on Kyangwali land that has had been earmarked as a resettlement land. This comes after a recommendation of a report issued by a multi-sectoral committee that investigated claims by people of wrongful eviction from their land.
The report found that some Ugandans unknowingly or knowingly bought land from ex-refugees who were settling when they were returning to their home countries.
The more interesting bit of the story is that many of the buyers and current claimants of the land are big shots.
The Minister for Refugees and Disaster preparedness Hillary Onek said that the 839 people currently camping at the sub-county headquarters must be taken back to their homes since they have no genuine complaints for land.
Onek said that the people who are now claiming to have been evicted and now camping at the district headquarters came from their homes after having been mobilized.
“They were just mobilized politically to put government under pressure over land …that they are now landless, discovered that over 11, 800 people encroached on the Refugee Settlement Camp land.
The technical committee chaired by Major General Julius Oketa revealed that the Local Council leaders abetted the illegal sale of government land to private individuals without the consent of the district land authorities.
Oketa revealed that some of the local leaders were selling this land to the people through sub county land committees. He further noted that some individuals claimed that this land belonged to them and because of this new influx, people unknowingly bought the land.
“In one case someone actually went ahead to lease the land over 120 hectares he was so angered that government was taking away his land but after the survey he released back to government,” Oketa said
According to the report the LC 3 Chairperson of Kyangwali financially benefitted from this confusion because the people there said that he used to take between fifty thousand shillings and two hundred thousand shillings before allocating them land in the Kyangwali refugee settlement camp.
The Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi who instituted the inquiry welcomed the report and promised to engage the relevant ministries in order to discuss its findings before implementing the recommendations.