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President’s Office Intervenes in Hoima Land Evictions

The families were in February this year evicted from the land measuring about two square miles, covering four villages of Rwensambya, Rwenjubu, Rutukuma and Kisuga.
A copy of the state house letter Addressed to the Hoima Resident District Commissioner.
The office of the President has intervened in the alleged illegal and violent eviction of over 2,000 residents from a chunk of land in Katerega parish, Hoima district.  

The families were in February this year evicted from the land measuring about two square miles, covering four villages of Rwensambya, Rwenjubu, Rutukuma and Kisuga.

The eviction that was executed by Maji Moto Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs,  saw property worth millions of shillings destroyed. Their houses were allegedly burnt, crop gardens destroyed and animals stolen. 

This was the height of a decade long wrangle between residents, Augustine Bisoborwa and Lt. Col. Innocent Kasimbazi alias Innocent Ayesiga, an official of Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) over the same piece of land. 

The eviction was based on a court order issued by the Hoima Grade One Magistrates Court in favour of the two claimants.

However, the affected residents led by Nyendwoha Yosamu Kiiza, Onen Vicent and Deogratius Ayesiga petitioned the State House Legal department for redress.

It on the basis of their petition that the department has directed the Hoima Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Samuel Kisembo to compile a report about the conflict as soon as possible, in order to facilitate justice.

“In contradiction of a court order, over 2,000 people occupying 4 villages were evicted illegally. The purpose of this letter is to urgently request you to furnish this office with a report on the said land dispute, the manner in which the eviction was carried out and the people who were affected by the court order,” the letter read in part. 

The one-page letter was also copied to the District Police Commander (DPC), Hoima and the affected residents. 

In the letter dated September 23, 2019,  Flora Kiconco, the head of the legal department at State House, questioned how a court order for the eviction of occupants from one acre of land, affected more villages in the end.

Meanwhile, there is also another letter, dated September 24, titled: complaint on delayed prosecution of the culprits in the eviction under case file number: CRB 352/2019, by the President’s office addressed to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

The letter also was written by Kiconco said the President was told by the petitioners that there was an unjustifiable delay in handling their matter by the DPP’s office.

The second letter requests the DPP to look into the matter and prosecute the culprits if there is sufficient evidence to warrant criminal proceedings against them.  

The affected families have since pitched camp under trees, churches and in the home of the area Member of Parliament Pius Wakabi while others are staying with their relatives still under harsh conditions.