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Illegal Land Claimants Emerge Along Kitgum-Kidepo Road

The Uganda National Road Authority (UNRA) is currently carrying out an assessment and evaluation exercise on properties that will be destroyed along the 115 km road stretch that has been earmarked for the upgrade to tarmac this financial year.
A copy of a route chart indicating the illegitimate claimants in Kitgum Matidi Town Council Photo By Dan M Komakech

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More than 20 land claimants have emerged along the Kitgum-Kidepo road targeting compensation.

The government is set to upgrade the 115 kilometres road linking Kitgum Municipality, through Orom Sub-county to Karenga District from gravel to standard bitumen. This is intended to target the tourism business in Kidepo Valley National Park.

The Uganda National Road Authority (UNRA) is currently carrying out an assessment and evaluation exercise on properties that will be destroyed along the road.

The councillor representing Ibakara parish in Kitgum Matidi Town Council Denis Okumu Opwonya says they discovered four unknown persons claiming ownership part of the land. The land is registered in the names of Kitgum Matidi Town Council.

Opwonya says that the people are claiming ownership of close to over 80 meters stretch of the land.

According to Opwonya, further inquiries to ascertain the actual claimants and how their names appeared on the list are going on.

Opwonya however accused the Kitgum Matidi Urban Council III leaders of fraudulently including unknown people on the list purportedly as owners of public land.

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George Canopwonya, the Chairperson for the project-affected persons in Kitgum Matidi town council says they have received numerous complaints.

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The Kitgum Matidi Town Council Chairperson Kenneth Oketayot Aroo says that he has notified UNRA officials about the anomalies. Aroo however refuted claims that he registered the claimants.

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A section of the residents has petitioned the Resident District Commissioner, Chief Administrative Officer and UNRA to intervene in the matter.

Allan Sempebwa the Media Relations Manager at UNRA says they do not condone any corrupt tendencies although he made assurance they will ensure that only genuine and rightful claimants are compensated.  

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According to Sempebwa, the assessment and evaluation process will undergo a series of processes which includes a verification stage indicating actual property owners earmarked to be compensated.  

Last week, the State Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development in charge of Urban Development, Mario Obiga Kania cautioned locals against erecting structures along the Kitgum-Kidepo road.

Obiga said that those erecting structures on the road reserves won’t get any compensation.

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