By Spy Uganda
Lyantonde: Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba has asked the people of Kyakarinda Village, Kaliro Subcounty in Lyantonde district to have peace of mind and continue with business as usual on their bibanja.
This followed her visit in the area on September 27 that was prompted by alleged eviction threats of over 200 people in the area after the land administrators of the 60.27 hectares opened boundaries on the land to survey it.
Mapped at Block 64 Plot 48, it is alleged that the family of the late George W Ruhetani is threatening to evict the squatters from their land.
The locals had become afraid and were threatening to resort to violence to avert the situation since they sensed a looming eviction after the Rutehani family decided to open boundaries.
However, Mr Ezra Mugenyi who represented the administrators of the land justified the call for the recent boundary opening in the meeting that was called by Minister Judith Nabakooba with attendance from the RDC and security heads of Lyantonde.
Mr Mugenyi shared that they took the decision to reopen the boundaries to know how far their land goes. He explained that the land was bought in 1977 by their grandfather (RIP) and the estate has to get another caretaker.
“There is nobody who was chasing these bibanja people off their bibanja, that is absolutely not true. We have no intentions whatsoever of chasing away these people. When we opened boundaries, the LC1 Chairman was part of every proceeding and he gave us all the necessary documentation. We wanted to know the size of the land so that when it comes to sharing it’s done equally,” he said.
According to Mugenyi, locals need to be educated on land issues to empower them to understand their rights of occupancy and land.
“There is no one that has been told to get off the land or to stop using their farms. I came here with the RDC and she reassured them that no one is going to evict them and we do not have any such intention.”
The area councillor Mary Kyakuwa re-echoed Bwambale’s call of training people on land matters. She said they are at times victims of the ignorance on land rights.
“When we have such engagements, we should always turn up to learn a few things,” she urged the locals.
Minister Nabakooba assured the locals that if there is something that has to be done on the land, they have to be notified first and it is always a mutual agreement and no use of force.
She explained to them that putting demarcations in the land doesn’t stop them from doing what they are supposed to do with their land.
“This is not a complicated matter, good enough, they were sensitised sometime back and I realised they did not know their roles and rights on their bibanja. They should now use their bibanja because the landlord knows them and acknowledges that they exist,” she said.
Nabakooba shared that she is going to direct the Masaka Land Office to open the boundaries of the disputed land because locals are claiming part of the land could be under the Buganda Land board and the other to the landlords.
The minister explained that if the boundaries are open, locals will know who their landlords are, something Nabakooba says is the most important thing.
“We are going to ensure they are educated about land matters. Once someone is educated, they become empowered and they will know how to fight for what is theirs.”
Ms Catherine Bamwine the RDC Lyantonde District shared with the minister how she has previously been on the ground and educated the locals assuring them of how no one will evict them since they are on the land legally.
“I told them no one will send you away from this land as long as I am still RDC. We need to teach these people about land matters. Landlords can always open boundaries but they can’t evict the tenants and I explained this to them.”
Pictorial Of Nabakooba In Lyantonde