Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Government is in the process of buying off the administrative powers of the Estate of the late Semei Kakungulu in Mbale district.
Dr.Chris Baryomunsi, the Lands, Housing and Urban Development State Minister, disclosed this during a Wealth Creation meeting at Namanyonyi sub county headquarters in Mbale district on Monday.
According to Baryomunsi, government has set aside funds to buy off the interests of Kakungulu’s family with the aim of preventing thousands of squatters from being evicted but also correct the colonial errors.
The managers of Kakungulu’s estates have repeatedly threatened to evict more than 45,000 people on the contested land, which covers Namanyonyi, Nakaloke sub counties and part of Bufumbo sub county in Mbale district.
He was responding to claims by the Namanyonyi sub county LC III chairperson, Jonadabu Keki, who claimed that the land Kankugulu claims was forcefully taken from their ancestors by the colonialists.
Baryomunsi said government is planning to engage the administrators of Kakungulu’s estates to determine how much they need so that no eviction is done.
He said that the same thing has been done in Nakaseke and Kibaale districts where government has bought off the rights of some landlords.
Baryomunsi also cautioned Resident District Commissioners against abetting any form of land evictions and land owners to stop threatening the people.
Lydia Mutende Wanyoto, the National Resistance Movement-NRM Party Women League Chairperson, who hails from the same area, welcomed the move by government to buy rights of landlords.
She said the issue of land in the area has been a threat to the lives of residents, saying government intervention will help them concentrate on developing themselves.
Kamadi Walusansa, the former Namayonyi Sub County LC III chairperson said the government proposal to buy off Kakungulu’s land has delayed because of the weakness of their national leaders.
The president had during the 2010 presidential campaign promised to pay off Kakungulu’s family to prevent them from evicting squatters from the land but to date nothing has been done.