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Rakai Residents Resist Demarcation of Boundaries on Disputed Land

A Uganda People’s Defense Force-UPDF soldier identified as Captain Godfrey Kalamuzi had obtained permission to open boundaries in two villages of Kyakago and Kasese located in Kibanda sub-county, Rakai district, where he claims ownership on a piece of land measuring 254 hectares. However, at least 1,000 residents living in 240 homes who are settled on the same land have resisted the opening of the boundaries arguing that it could be a plot to have them evicted.
Rakai Residents who are facing Eviction in Byakabanda Sub County

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 More than 1,000 residents in Rakai district have resisted the planned opening of boundaries on a disputed piece of land.   

A Uganda People’s Defense Force-UPDF soldier identified as Captain Godfrey Kalamuzi had obtained permission to open boundaries in two villages of Kyakago and Kasese located in Kibanda sub-county, Rakai district, where he claims ownership on a piece of land measuring 254 hectares.

However, at least 1,000 residents living in 240 homes who are settled on the same land have resisted the opening of the boundaries arguing that it could be a plot to have them evicted.  

Led by Twaha Sseruyima, the Kyakago village chairperson, the residents on Monday angrily blocked surveyors from accessing the land and threatened to harm them.   Sseruyima accuses Captain Kalamuzi of harbouring intentions of grabbing their land on which they have settled for decades. He alleges that Kalamuzi erroneously obtained lease offer on the same land without the knowledge of the occupants. 

According to Sseruyima, recently Captain Kalamuzi who was backed by local security personnel went and inspected the disputed land where they also trespassed on people’s plantations, and their conduct raised fear among the current occupants, who mobilized to resist any suspicious activities on the same land.

Records at the Rakai District Land Board Registry indicates that the disputed land is government estate part of which was advertised in 2010 for leasing to interested parties. Sseruyima argues that as bonafide occupants they secured lease offers over the land which Kalamuzi is also claiming ownership over. 

  //Cue in: “oluvanyuma lw’okugwibwamu….   

  Cue out; …..amaka 250.”//

Moses Kalule, a resident of Kasese village argues that they have settled on the disputed land for so long and cannot just let it be taken away from him.   He adds that he has buried several of his relatives of the same land, vowing to resist any attempts that can deprive him of its ownership.

   //Cue in: “tetusobola kuvaako….   

  Cue out; ….tetunaba kwesala sala.”//  

 Grace Natukunda and Paddy Ssenkubuge, who are also residents that are threatened by eviction accuse the Office of the Resident District Commissioner of conspiring with Kalamuzi against the hundreds of occupants whose rights she says are being violated.

They accuse Charles Mubiru, the Rakai Resident District Commissioner of sanctioning the surveying of the land without meditating into the underlying dispute over its ownership.

  

  //Cue in: “balina order….   

  Cue out; …..mu mbeera ey’eyaagaza.”// 

However, Edward Kamya the Acting Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Rakai district and Secretary to the District Land Board dismisses claims of eviction and land grabbing, arguing that Captain Kalamuzi was only given clearance to survey just a piece of the bigger chunk of land in the area to ascertain his boundaries. He has asked the residents to remain calm, indicating that there are no plans to evict them from their homes.

Captain Kalamuzi has however denied allegations of land grabbing arguing that he has a title of the said land and that his interest it to map out its real size.

   //Cue in; “already nina ekyapa….  

Cue out; ….letter of eviction.”//       

                        

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