2,000 Families in Hoima Face Forceful Eviction

More than 2,000 families in Hoima district are on the verge of being evicted from their ancestral land. The affected families are residents of Rwobunyonyi, Kirindasojo, and Kihohoro villages in Buraru sub-county.  

They are feuding with Fred Mugamba, a tycoon in Hoima city over land measuring 810 hectares. The families say they have occupied the contested land since the 1940s and wonder how Mugamba who is not even a resident of the area is claiming the land. They accuse Mugamba of slashing their crops and torching their houses. 

Moses Barongo, the LC I chairperson of Rwobunyonyi village, says that his great-grandparents settled on the contested land in the 1940s and wonders how and why Mugamba who is not even a resident has shown up to claim it. 

He accuses Mugamba of conniving with the police and security officials in the district to threaten and intimidate them to vacate their land, a thing he says they will not tolerate.

Henry Bagamu, another resident explains that Mugamba hired people who invaded the area last week and slashed their crops including banana plantations, maize, beans, and cassava. He says that the affected people are living in fear moreover on their ancestral land. 

Abednego Kwebiha, another resident wants the government to immediately intervene and investigate the circumstances under, which Mugamba came to acquire a title on land that they have occupied for decades.

Vithal Mutaseka, another resident wants some top security officials in the district investigated for allegedly conniving with Mugamba to grab their land.  According to Mutaseka, Mugamba is escorted by UPDF and police whenever he is visiting the area an indication that there is connivance between him and security officials to scare them away from their land. 

Mugamba maintained his ownership of the land in an interview with our reporter, saying that he legally attained the land and processed a title in 1994. Emmy Kateera, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner-RDC, says that security is currently investigating the land matter and will soon come up with a comprehensive report on the land dispute.

Pius Wakabi, the Bugahya county member of parliament wants a special committee to be set to investigate some top security officials in the district for allegedly conniving with land grabbers to evict people from their ancestral land.  

Last week, rowdy residents set ablaze a double cabin vehicle registration number UAL 477Z that had invaded the area with a team of surveyors.  The angry residents suspected that the surveyors had gone to survey their ancestral land hence turning rowdy.

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