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Tension As IDPs, Residents Wrangle Over Nakaseke Land

Tension is mounting in Nakaseke after people who had fled the district during the 1981-1986 war announced their return on the land which they occupied before the war.
Tension is mounting in Nakaseke after people who had fled the district during the 1981-1986 war announced their return on the land which they occupied before the war.

The over 500 internally displaced persons are part of thousands of people that were displaced in Luweero and Nakaseke districts during the National Resistance Movement liberation war.

United under National Association of the Displaced People (NADIP), they have issued letters to Nakaseke district leaders and police informing them of their plan to return and reclaim their plots of land. The persons have been renting in Kampala, Northern and Eastern Uganda.

The NADIP chairman Peter Muketa Oyuk told URN on phone that the group has suffered as they have nowhere to cultivate food and settle.

He explained that due to lack of permanent settlement and food sources, they have been living a paupers’ life. Oyuk Muketa adds that the IDPs will arrive in Nakaseke on 17th October 2011 resettle on their land to pave way for transformation of their livelihoods.

The group plans to resettle in the sub counties of Kikamulo, Nakaseke, Ssemuto, Kito, Kasangombe and Kiwoko among others.

However, both the local leaders and residents have rejected the plan citing possible land wrangles between new tenants and the IDPs.

Kikamulo sub county chairman, Ssenteza Mwebe says that the land where the IDPs want to settle is now being occupied by new tenants and it is impossible to evict them since they acquired it legally in absence of the former.

Ssenteza Mwebe, a veteran in the same war also says that the move is likely to revive the bitterness that characterized the war period.

Another resident, Joseph Ssansa of Kiruli village where majority are expected to re-sesettle, says that they bought the plots of land from landlords legally and question why the group failed to reclaim the land for over 25 years.

Ssansa explains that unless the group buys fresh land and settles there, nobody is willing to give away his piece of land to former tenants for resettlement which may lead to clashes.

Both the Nakaseke LC5 chairman, Ignatius Koomu Kiwanuka and Resident District commissioner Geoffrey Kyomukama have rejected the return of the group and petitioned President Yoweri Museveni to resettle the group elsewhere to avert land wrangles and chaos.

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