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Evicted Hoima Families Seek Compensation

The residents were evicted last week when a group of bailiffs, accompanied by police and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF personnel, stormed the area, razed over 50 houses and slashed crop gardens, a new twist in a battle that has lasted more than 10 years.
Some of the Stranded Evicted Residents seeking shelter under trees.

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More than 300 families that were forcefully evicted from their ancestral land in the villages of Rwenjubu, Rwensabya, Kisuga and Rutukuma in Buhanika Sub County, Hoima district are seeking Compensation for their destroyed properties.

The residents were evicted last week when a group of bailiffs, accompanied by police and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF personnel, stormed the area, razed over 50 houses and slashed crop gardens, a new twist in a battle that has lasted more than 10 years.

The eviction followed a January 14, judgment by the High Court in Masindi in favor of Keloyi Kiiza, one of the persons who claim ownership of the two 2 square miles of land. Kiiza had dragged the residents to court for encroaching on his property.

The other claimants are Moses Kaahwa, Dick Rwesemereza, Deo Agaba, Augustine Bisoborwa, Alex Abitekaniza and Innocent Ayesiga. The residents have since filed an appeal against the judgment.

The Residents are also seeking compensation from the masterminds of the eviction. Kisuga Village Chairperson Dominic Okumu is equally calling for the intervention of the office of the president, to compel the architects to compensate the families that have since pitched camp under trees near the contested piece of land.

//cue in; "Ni saba gafumenti…

Cue out…haho lya rwenjubu."//

Joyce Atube, another of the affected persons says their families were left with no food as all gardens were razed and properties destroyed.

//Cue in; "Baitu Obwire bunu…

Cue out…gafumenti batu yambe."//

Buhaguzi County Member of Parliament Pius Wakabi says the evicted persons have occupied the land in question for several years and needed to either be peacefully relocated or compensated for their properties, in order to allow them to find suitable areas for settlement.

//Cue in; "tukwenda kurorangu tu…

Cue out…twafuna mazima justice."//

However, Hoima District Chairman Kadri Kirungi has cautioned the evicted persons against violence and called for coordination among all leaders and stakeholders.

//Cue in; "Bagenda Kulinda Obusinge…

Cue out…Aheru ya biragiro."//

Some of the evicted Families on Friday evening stormed the home of the area member of parliament Pius Wakabi seeking for his intervention into the ruthless eviction. They also complained about acts of torture and harassment they are being subjected to by Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF soldiers deployed to guard the contested piece of land.

Augustine Bisoborwa, one of Kiiza's sons says they are in possession of documents indicating that his family genuinely secured the land in the 1970s.

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