Several people facing
forceful eviction from their ancestral land in Buliisa are accusing their
tormentors of branding them as Congolese nationals. The affected people
say that the majority of the land grabbers refer to them as Congolese despite
the fact that they have occupied the contested land since their
A case in point is the more than 1,000 people who
are being threatened with forceful eviction from their ancestral land in
Watembo and Booma villages in the Butiaba town council. The affected residents are feuding
with Francis Kaahwa, a prominent businessman in Buliisa and Kampala over approximately
1,800 acres of land.
According to the residents, Kaahwa often refers to
them as Congolese who migrated from DRC and settled in the area yet their great
grandfathers settled in the area in the 1940s.
Deo Ntakimanyi 60,
the Boma village LC I Chairperson, says that his late grandfather was born on
the contested piece of land but he is shocked to hear that he is a Congolese.
//Cue in; “I was born…
Cue out:…wants to take,”//
Gilbert Okumu 70, a resident of Watembo village also
says that he was born and raised in the area but he was shocked when Kaahwa
started referring to him as a refugee with the intention of grabbing his ancestral
//cue in;”Junyola kakeni adongo…
Cue out:…jubino yikowa kakeni,”//
Pascal Kyalisiima, another affected resident says
it is unfair on the part of the land grabbers to label as Congolese to dupe
security and grab their land. He says they have genuine National identification
cards and Graduated tax tickets they paid in the 1950s while settling on the
contested piece of land.
//Cue in: ”Hati ba bantu…
Cue out:….Munyagi wa mate,”//
Jane Kusemererwa 80, says she lost both parents
who were equally born and buried on the same piece of land and wonders she is
now being referred to as a Congolese. Bernard Asiimwe, another resident wants
the authorities to take action against Kaahwa for referring to them as
Congolese well knowing that they are Ugandans.
//Cue in: ”Hait nyowe ndi…
Cue out:…nitulima mu lyatu,”//,
Kaahwa has denied the accusations leveled against him by the
residents. He, however, maintains that he is the rightful owner of the contested
land, adding that he genuinely acquired the title.
Allan Atugonza, the Bullisa County member of
parliament, says many people who have in the past grabbed land in Buliisa have
always referred to the indigenous people as Congolese nationals, which is false.
Stephen Mfashingabo, the Buliisa Resident District Commissioner-RDC says they
are verifying the allegations despite the fact that nobody has formally brought
the matter to the attention of his office.