More than 20 residents in Buvuma have raised concerns after the National
Oil Palm Project- NOPP started clearing their land without compensation.
The residents are seeking government intervention to ensure that they are
paid before the project starts.
Although NOPP plans to secure 6, 500 hectares out of the 10,000 hectares
required to operate in Buvuma, residents at Bubanzi in Busamuzi sub-county
claim that they have never been paid despite taking them through the valuation
and final audit processes.
Agnes Nakamyuka, a resident in the area says that she was told to stop cultivating
on her two acres of land. Nakamyuka adds that she was surprised when she saw graders ploughing
her land before she is compensated.
“They did every kind of assessment and also took our particulars
of ownership promising to pay us but they have now started clearing the land
before affecting their promise”
//Cue in: “Kituufu batubala…
Cue out: …kunsonga zaffe”//
Another resident Peter Mugabe says payments have delayed from the
time of evaluation making their land redundant yet they it is his only source
“I could use my land to grow coffee, banana and other food crops
but I halted farming after I was promised money in the land”
//Cue in “Kati simanyi…
Cue in: …embeera eno jjetulimu”
The Bubanzi LCI Chairperson Sebastian Kawuma says that residents
are still uncertain when they will be compensated.
//Cue in: “Nange ngezezako…
Cue out: …ebintu bya gavumenti”//
However, the Buvuma NOPP Coordinator Gerald Epai says the people
complaining signed agreements with the project and accepted that they shall be paid.
“Signing agreement means acceptance to sell, the only remaining process is
approval from the auditors for these people to receive their money. The good
things they all know what they are going to receive”
//Cue in: “Abasinga twawandiika…
Cue out: …nabo baziraba”//
Oil palm growing in Buvuma district has faced slow progress due to
irregularities raised by residents including delayed compensations and underpayments
that discouraged Oil Palm Uganda Ltd-OPUL, a subsidiary of Bidco Uganda to
occupy its nucleus estate.