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Landslide victims on Bulambuli resettlement land protest eviction notice

Residents stage peaceful demonstration. URN photo

Bulambuli, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 150 families displaced by landslides from Bulambuli and Sironko districts are up in arms against a directive by Bulambuli Resident District Commissioner Stanley Bayole, ordering them to vacate the government resettlement land in one week.

The families in Kata and Mabale village, Bunambutye sub-county in Bulambuli district staged a peaceful demonstration on Monday protesting the eviction notice. Michael Wabona, the LCI Chairperson of Mabale village explains that the RDC held a meeting with the affected residents from the two villages last week and ordered them to vacate the land before the end of this week and return to their areas of origin.

According to Wabona, the affected people occupied the resettlement land in 2004 after the president ordered all people living in disaster-prone areas in Sironko and Bulambuli to vacate and settle in safer areas. Wabona says that the families cannot vacate the resettlement that was bought by the government to resettle landslide victims.

Abraham Masako, another affected resident says that they are not ready to vacate the resettlement land unless the government allocates them another piece of land. He urged the president and prime minister to intervene in the matter, saying that they are ready to shade blood to protect their homes.

Betty Muzaki, another affected resident accused RDC and their neighbors who were resettled from others areas of burning their houses and destroying their crops as a way of forcing them to vacate.

However, Stanley Bayola, the Bulambuli Resident District Commissioner has denied allegations of burning the houses and destroying the crops of the affected people. He however insisted that the affected people settled on the resettlement land illegally.

He explains that the government under the Office of the Prime Minister bought 1,800 acres of land with the aim of resettling people from disaster-risk areas of Bududa, Namisindwa, Sironko, and Bulambuli districts but the affected people forced themselves onto the land without authorisation.

He explains that the government gave the genuine settlers a house and one acre of land and promised to add each of the families two acres of land for farming, which has never happened because of the illegal settlers.



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