1,000 residents stranded as government moves to reclaim Lyantonde land

Sunday June 9, 2019

 

More than 1,000 residents of Makukulu Village in Kaliiro Sub-county, Lyantonde District, have been given a 90-day ultimatum to look for alternative land for resettlement or face eviction.


An April 26 eviction notice issued by the ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries addressed to the secretary of the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters, said the ministry wants to repossess its land by July 31.


The permanent secretary in the ministry of Agriculture, Mr Pius Wakabi Kasajja, in the letter said the residents are illegally occupying government land, which formerly housed a veterinary field station.


The squatters on the land had earlier petitioned the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire-led probe team saying the ministry of Agriculture was unlawfully planning to evict them.


They also alleged that some unscrupulous individuals were renting out the land and not remitting the proceeds to government.


“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to inform you that the complainants have no claim over the land and this ministry has prioritised the rehabilitation of this veterinary field station as soon as possible,” the letter reads in part.

The disputed land is on Kabula Block 47, Plot 13, 24&25 amounting to 242.541 acres.


The land accommodates several residents and New Hope Community Nursery and Primary School.


Ms Masitulah Nakasujja, a resident, said she has settled on the land for 27 years and has no were to go.


“We appeal to government to give us more time to organise ourselves or find us an alternative land for resettlement,” Ms Nakasujja said on Wednesday.


Mr Yorokam Sabiti, a resident, asked government to consider getting an alternative land for Hope Community and Nursery School.


The school was closed last term by the Lyantonde Resident District Commissioner, Ms Catherine Kamwiine.


“The RDC closed our school and more than 400 children are now loitering in villages. Government should find an alternative piece of land because the nearby school is six kilometres away,” Mr Sabiti said


Mr Joseph Jjuuko, the Lyantonde District vice chairperson, has asked the affected residents to abide by the eviction notice.


“Makukulu land is a government property and the district has been a caretaker, so we cannot stop the eviction,” Mr Juuko said.


Ms Kamwiine said when the 90-day ultimatum expires, residents would be forcefully evicted.