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Residents, Investor Clash Over Access Road

According to Wasswa, they agreed with the sugar company to expand the access road to enable smooth movement of their trucks but to their surprise, the company sealed it off.
Luwero CPS OC Evelyne Ayoo calming an affected resident George Kizito who wanted to demolish the perimter wall

Audio 4

A rift has broken out between residents of Ndibulungi village in Luwero district and  Victoria Sugar Limited company over the construction of a perimeter wall on an access road. Early this week, the sugar company started erecting a perimeter wall along the 2-kilometer access road that connects to the Kampala-Gulu highway.

The company also constructed the main gate and deployed a guard to restrict entry. John Wasswa, the LC 1 Chairman of Ndibulungi village explains that the construction of the perimeter wall has left scores of households on both sides without access to the road. He says that the perimeter wall has also denied some residents access to their farmland and boreholes for water for domestic use.

According to Wasswa, they agreed with the sugar company to expand the access road to enable smooth movement of their trucks but to their surprise, the company sealed it off.

//Cue in: “Obuzibu buvuddewa…

Cue out;…tetujja kukirizza,”//

George Kizito, one of the affected residents says that he woke up only to find the workers of the sugar company erecting the fence. They reportedly threatened to stab him should he interfere with their work. According to Kizito, he is currently unable to leave home or transport his agricultural produce due to the closure of the access road.

// Cue in: “Nagulawo ssente…

Cue out;…okuyambibwa,”//

Steven Ssentongo, another affected resident, says that they welcomed the company and many people bought land along the access road to tap from the benefits of industrialization. Ssentongo says that now they are stuck with the land because the road has been fenced off.

On Wednesday, residents led by the Butuntumula sub-county councilor, Isaac Wampamba staged a protest and attempted to demolish the perimeter wall but were blocked by the police. Wampamba said that they tried to get redress from the Luwero District Police Commander and Resident District Commissioner in vain.

Evelyne Ayoo the Officer In Charge of Luwero Central Police Station ordered the company to halt the construction works until the Resident District Commissioner, Richard Bwabye convenes a meeting to resolve the conflict.

//Cue in: “You have to …

Cue out;…the muyindi,”//

But Esther Ayoko, the Human Resource of Victoria Sugar Limited company explained that the company bought land from 11 residents and constructed the road for their trucks after residents denied them access to another community road.

She presented 11 land sales agreements, which were allegedly signed by residents selling pieces of their land each at between Shillings 500,000 and 5,000,000 shillings to enable the company to construct the road. Ayoko says that they resolved to construct the perimeter wall to protect the children from their trucks and stop the rampant theft of their property.

// Cue in: “We have been…

Cue out;….to us,"// 

The company has advised the residents to use other community roads or open another access road for their use. Victoria Sugar Limited Company occupies 54 hectares of land comprising block 720 plot 20 in Butuntumula Sub County.