Inside story of how a joint force of UPDF and police raided a Hoima village evicting 500 families

Inside story of how a joint force of UPDF and police raided a Hoima village evicting 500 families

More than 500 families that were brutally evicted from Kyabisagazi 1 and 2 in Kyabisagazi parishes, in Kigorobya Sub-county, Hoima District, are demanding the release of the parliamentary select committee report on their eviction.

The families were evicted from the land in February when a joint force of UPDF and police raided the village to track down people who were allegedly involved in subversive activities.

The operation was reportedly prompted by an intelligence report indicating that a group of foreigners who had invaded the area were posing a security threat.

The evictees fought back thinking they had been attacked by thugs and killed Julius Taremwa, a police constable, who was attached to Hoima Central Police station.

Eazzy Banking

However, what appeared to be a cordon and search operation turned out to be an eviction which left more than 500 families displaced from the contested 485-acre piece of land.

Unknown people have since planted sugarcane on the contested piece of land.

In March, the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Rebecca Kadaga constituted a select committee to investigate the matter, after Ora County Member of Parliament (MP); Mr Lawrence Biyika Songa, brought the matter to the attention of Parliament on February 21.

The committee is chaired by Mr Gaster Mugoya, the Bukholi County MP. Other members are Budaka Woman MP, Ms Pamela Kamoga Naiso; Makindye East MP, Mr Ibrahim Kasozi; Bududa Woman MP, Ms Justine Khainza; UPDF Representative, Brig Flavia Byekwaso; Oyam Woman MP, Ms Santa Alum and Busiki County MP, Mr Paul Akamba.

The committee was given six terms of reference including; studying all claims of ownership on the disputed land, investigating allegations relating to the identity and status of persons evicted, examining the involvement and conduct of security officers in the eviction of families, among others.

Committee members visited Kyabisagazi 1 and Kyabisagazi 2 on April 12, and interacted with the evictees as part of their investigation.

They were expected to complete work within 45 days and report back to Parliament.

However, to date, the committee hasn’t tabled the findings.

The evictees who have since camped at Kibali Church of Uganda in Kasenene Parish, Budongo Sub-county in Masindi District, wonder why the committee hasn’t released its report.

Ms Semerita Angei, one of the evictees and a mother of 12 children, said that their hope of returning to their land will be determined by the committee report.

Mr Bahati Ondoga, another resident, says the delay by MPs to table their findings before parliament is traumatising since they assured the evictees that they would release their findings a month after visiting the contested area.

Mr Jovan Aliyo, another evictee explains that the delayed report could jeopardise investigations into the forceful eviction.

However, Mr Mugoya, the said that the report would be tabled either on Tuesday or Wednesday this week.

URN

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