In 2008, Government gazetted 619 acres of land in Musoto village located about six kilometers South of Mbale Central Business District to host the industrial park. The land formerly belonged to Bugisu Co-operative Union and was allocated to Uganda Investment Authority as part of the three billion-Shilling bail out Government advanced the union.
Over 30 families in Makhumbo village in Mbale
City’s Industrial Division are out in the cold following their eviction from
their ancestral land. The families were dissatisfied by government’s
compensation for over 6oo acres of land currently hosting Mbale industrial park
in the then Bukasakya sub county in Mbale District.
In 2008, Government gazetted 619 acres of land
in Musoto village located about six kilometers South of Mbale Central Business
District to host the industrial park. The land formerly belonged to Bugisu
Co-operative Union and was allocated to Uganda Investment Authority as part of the
three billion-Shilling bail out Government advanced the union.
Over 800 squatters on the land ran to court to
secure an injunction to stop the development of the park until they are fully compensated.
Government valued the land and started compensating them for their property to pave way for the establishment of the industrial park.
However, some of
the residents said their land had been undervalued. They declined to vacate the land until they are
fully compensated. On July 6th, 2020, a group of security
officers from Mbale Industrial Park and the UPDF led by Sgt. Robert Kiwanuka forcefully
evicted the 36 families from their homes between 9:00 PM and 1:00 AM.
family members have now taken refuge at the nearby mosque, Seventh day Adventist
church and the residence of the area LCI chairperson. They accuse Mbale District Resident
Commissioner, Sulaiman Ogajjo Barasa, the Trade State Minister and area Member
of Parliament, Michael Welikhe, LC III Chairperson and Gombolola Internal
Security Officer for aiding their eviction in defiance of a court injunction arising
from a Civil suit No.004 of 2011.
//Cue in: “RDC Yeyakola…
On April 4th, 2019, the then Mbale
High Deputy Registrar, James Mawanda Ereemye Jumire issued a temporary injunction
maintaining the status quo on the land, which was in favor of the applicants. However,
on March 30, 2020, the Mbale RDC issued a letter that he called a final call to
the affected people to vacate Mbale industrial park land.
In the letter, the RDC said that he was
implementing a presidential directive to evict the land within fourteen days. “Arising
from the presidential directive on 19th/March, 2020, the district security
committee sat on the 27th, March, 2020 and resolved to implement the
president’s directive by giving you a notice of fourteen days within which you
should vacate the said land peacefully with attracting government to use other
means,” the letter a copy of which URN has obtained reads in part.
95-year-old Jessica Nabujeke is one of the
residents who was evicted from the land and now lives in a nearby church after
losing over 10 acres of land. She explains that on the fateful night, she was
sleeping in the house when she was brutally thrown out of her house.
According to Nabujeke, she was never allowed to
pick anything from her house that eventual knocked down by a grader. She
called for the president’s intervention to save the affected families from suffering.
//Cue in: “Eeee …
Hussein Tenywa, the LC 1 Chairperson Makhumbo
village says that the UPDF officers who conducted the eviction raided the
resident’s home at night, handcuffed them and brutally evicted them from the
//Cue in: “Kati court…
The Mbale Resident District Commissioner, Sulaiman
Ogajjo, says the affected people have no claim over the contested land, adding
that they are only squatters who were compensated but refused to pick the
He dismissed allegations of ordering the eviction, saying that he was
only implementing a presidential directive.
Kirinya Ayubu is the URN Bureau Chief of Elgon/Bukedi Sub Regions . He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Islamic University in Uganda and a Diploma in Computer Science and Information Technology from the same University.