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500 Kikuube residents face forceful eviction



Residents claim the contested land belongs and was given to them by Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom

Kikuube, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 500 residents of Kinogozi parish in Buhimba sub county in Kikuube district are on the verge of being evicted from their homes. The residents are feuding with Edward Kaliisa, a prominent businessman over 160 acres of land. The contested land is found in Kinogozi West village in Kinogozi parish in Buhimba sub county.

Residents say that they are living in fear after the tycoon threatened to forcefully evict them from their ancestral land donated by Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom. The contested land also hosts key government facilities including Omugo Bisereko primary school, Komukyeya Secondary school, Lucy Bisereko health center III, St Andrew C.O.U and the royal burial grounds of the Omukama Andrea Duhaga among others.

Nabos Iguru, one of the affected persons told Uganda Radio Network that Kaliisa acquired a title for the land in 2019 without the consent of residents, which he wants to use to evict them. According to Iguru, Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom offered the contested piece of land to residents and wonders how Kaliisa came to acquire the title without their consent or that of the kingdom.

Samali Kiiza, another resident says that they are living in tension. She calls on both the government and the Kingdom to come to their rescue. David Tusiime, another resident says they are ready to defend the land they have occupied since the 1940’s by all means.

Ochaki Nyabongo, the representative of Kahoora division in Hoima city in the Bunyoro Kitara kingdom parliament, says the land belongs to Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom and gave it to residents. He says that whoever acquired a land title on the contested land did it illegally.

Amlan Tumusiime, the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner-RDC called on the residents to remain calm, saying nobody will evict them. He promised to petition the lands ministry to find out how Kaliisa acquired a title on a piece of land with more than 500 families without their knowledge.

Kaliisa, who is being accused by the residents told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Friday that he genuinely acquired the land and processed a title in 2019. He says the land neither belongs to the residents nor Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom as claimed.

In April this year, leaders in Bunyoro sub-region raised a red flag over the increasing existence of fraudulent land titles in the Bunyoro sub-region. According to the leaders, there are many land titles in the region that were acquired fraudulently hence putting residents on the verge of being evicted from their ancestral land.

Drawn from Hoima, Kikuube, Buliisa, Masindi, Kiryandongo, Kagadi, Kakumiro and Buliisa districts, the leaders appealed to the Lands Ministry to intervene and cancel all the titles acquired fraudulently. A number of brutal and forceful evictions have taken place in the Bunyoro sub-region since 2014.

The victims have never been accorded any protection by the government. In February 2019, more than 500 families were brutally evicted from their ancestral land in Kyabisagazi 1 and Kyabisagazi 2 villages in Kigorobya sub-county Hoima district. Four toddlers were killed during the brutal eviction by armed men in uniforms similar to those of the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces and the Anti-riot police.

The contested land measuring 485 acres was at the center of a dispute between Edgar Agaba, a businessman in Hoima town and more than 500 families. To date, the evicted people have never received any help and are landless.



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