300 families at the verge of being evicted by Mukwano Group from Kiryana Ranch in Masindi have petitioned parliament to intervene in the matter. Mukwano Group of companies took over the management of the disputed Kiryana ranch land from Zziwa Ranchers because of poor management.
In February 2010, the herdsmen secured a court order stopping Mukwano from evicting them. Early this month, Mukwano started opening the boundaries of the ranch and ordered the herdsmen to leave in vain.
The company auctioned over 400 heads of cattle that were confiscated from the ranch. Now, the herdsmen have petitioned parliament to intervene in the matter and halt any activities on the land until the dispute is resolved amicably.
Jalia Bintu, the Masindi woman MP, through whom the petition has been passed says she is optimistic that parliament will advise accordingly. Bintu however refuses to give her personal conclusion of the situation.
If evicted 2,000 people, 20,000 heads of cattle, an estimated 5,000 goats and sheep will be affected. Mukwano, who is undertaking large scale farming in Masindi and Kiryandongo districts recently also acquired the former army, farms in Kigumba.
He also owns almost half of Masindi-port Sub County in Kiryandongo district, where the company wants to venture into sugar production. If successful, it would become the second sugar factory in Masindi, next to Kinyara.
Masindi Bureau Chief