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Kahendero Residents Walk Away From Ministry of Lands Survey Exercise

According to the residents, UWA had previously conducted surveys on the disputed land but they were surprised when the ministry surveyors went the disputed UWA demarcations and encroached on their private land. They accused the land officials of being compromised by UWA and police.
Ministry of Land surveyors explain the features of Kahendero on the map before residents abandoned the exercise

Audio 7

Effort by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development to end the boundary dispute between Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kahendero Wildlife sanctuary in Kasese district suffered a setback on Wednesday when residents walked away from a survey exercise.

Residents vowed not to attend any meeting with Uganda wildlife authority-UWA until the government resolves the boundary dispute that started in 1992. According to the residents, UWA had previously conducted surveys on the disputed land but they were surprised when the ministry surveyors went the disputed UWA demarcations and encroached on their private land.

They accused the land officials of being compromised by UWA and police. They abandoned the survey and resolved to write to the head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit Col. Edith Nakalema and the office of the president to intervene.  

Robert Kasozi, one of those who abandoned the survey says that he was surprised to see the officials placing the survey coordinates on their land where both his father and the entire family have lived for years.   

Rutoro byte   


//Cue in: “Ekitutakwikiranganiza nakwo….     

Cue out: …niho bazalirwe.”//   



Raymond Mumbere says his grandfather bought their family land neighbouring Kahendero primary school more than 50 years ago.  He appeals to the government to allocate them permanent land for resettlement to stop the persistent conflict.  

Lukhonzo byte

//Cue in: “Ekitaka neru baitu….  


 

Cue out: …kyaba kithi.”//  

Benson Johnson, another resident says they had to abandon the survey after questioning the manner in which, it was being conducted.

He says their point of interest as residents including hiring a private surveyor were not considered by the ministry officials during the whole process.   

Rutooro byte

//Cue in: “Hati obubatahire munda…

   

Cue out: …nibenda kusembeza kunu.”//  

Elly Asiimwe, the LC 1 Chairperson Kahendero village, says that the decision of the residents to shun the exercise means that they will not accept the final surveyor’s report.  He says that they now want an independent surveyor. 

Rutooro byte

//Cue in: “Government abatumire ngu…   

Cue out: …nizo bagendereho.”//  



Robert Guma, the LC 3 Chairperson of Muhokya town council told URN that there is need for mass sensitization before the survey and demarcations are carried out.  He says those who have already been implicated to be inside the park are currently living in fear.  

//Cue in: “Nkoku babaire ni…   

Cue out: …tibaine hokugwa.”//


Kasese District LC V Chairperson Eliphazi Muhindi has advised the community to mobilise resources and hire an independent surveyor so that they can compare their findings with that of the government surveyor.

However, Juma Alube one of the residents, says that they cannot afford the services of a private surveyor and asked local Nongovernmental organisations to give them a hand.  

Rutoor byte





//Cue in: "Embera nikwe okugirora...

Cue out: ...baine sente bamani."//

 

John Vianney Lutaya, the principal surveyor in the ministry of lands who led the exercise, said his work was not to give land to any of the party but rather present a report to the relevant authorities for action.  

Luganda byte

//Cue in: “Ebikulu ebigenda ekuva…   

Cue out: …bino ebitukola.”//


Kahendero is one of the six landing sites bordering Queen Elizabeth National park along the shores of Lake George.  However, area residents claim that much of their land was taken away by UWA during the re-demarcation of Queen Elizabeth National Park in 1992.

The national park was gazetted over 60 years ago.