Nabakooba Orders 500 Evicted Hoima Families to Return To Their Homes

The Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Judith Nabakooba has reinstated over 500 families that were evicted from their homes on approximately 5 square miles of land in Kapapi and Kiganja sub-counties in Hoima district.

A team of police officers backed by private guards forcefully evicted the affected people mainly, cultivators and pastoralists from their homes in Waaki North, Kapapi Central, Waaki South, Runga, and Kiryatete villages in Kapapi and Kiganja sub-counties on Saturday night last week. More than 50 homes were set ablaze and an unspecified number of animals including cows and goats looted during the brutal eviction operation.

The residents are feuding with Moses Asiimwe, a tycoon in Hoima city, who they are accusing of conniving with security to grab their land. Some of the evictees have since pitched camp at Rwenyana Gospel Church in Kapaapi sub-county while others are scattered in the neighboring villages where they sleep in the cold.   

More than ten people who opposed the eviction were picked up by security during the eviction and their whereabouts are unknown to date. This prompted the Lands Minister, Judith Nabakooba to rush to Hoima on Wednesday and meet the affected people. Addressing the evictees at Rukola village in Kapapi sub-county, Nabakooba ordered them to return to their land, saying they were evicted unlawfully.

According to Nabakooba, the residents were evicted without any court order, and above all, they were evicted during night hours, which is contrary to the law. She directed the district security committee to provide security to the evictees as they return to their land and ordered the immediate withdrawal of private security guards deployed on the contested land.

Nabakooba also directed the immediate release of the eleven people who were arrested and charged with criminal trespass and malicious damage for opposing the unlawful eviction exercise.

David Karubanga, the Kigorobya county member of parliament wants the Hoima district security committee investigated for conniving with land grabbers and putting hundreds of families in the tension of being evicted. 

Kadir Kirungi, the Hoima LC V Chairperson too faults security in the district for fueling land conflicts, saying that there are more than 18 pending evictions in various parts of the district.

Margret Mirimo, one of the evictees informed the minister they were brutalized and some women raped during their eviction. 

James Kiriti, another victim informed the minister that the entire district security committee of Hoima has been compromised by land grabbers, saying something must be done to curtail the rot in the security system. He wants all the evictees compensated for the losses they incurred during their brutal eviction.

Rogers Mbabazi, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner-RDC refuted allegations that the District Security Committee was part and parcel of the brutal eviction.

Asiimwe didn’t show up for the meeting despite being invited by the minister.   

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