About 200 people illegally living on land owned by Masaka Regional Referral Hospital have been ordered to leave immediately.
The squatters have been evicted to allow room for the construction of accommodation for medical staff.
Dr. Asuman Lukwago, the hospital superintendent, s says the majority of the squatters on the three square mile land at Kasijagirwa in Kimanya-Kyabakuza Division in Masaka town are former hospital employees who were sacked because they were unqualified for their jobs. Instead of going home, the settled on the hospital land.
The Masaka Resident District Commissioner, Bamusedde Bwambale, has backed the eviction of the squatters. He says they were given two years to arrange for their departure and will not be granted any extensions on their eviction deadline.
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The squatters have threatened violence if they are evicted without compensation.
Contrary to the report of the Masaka Hospital superintendent, they say they have lived on the land for more than 15 years. They claim to have acquired it from Buganda Kingdom landlords and have a legal right to the property.
Eric Senzoga, chairperson of the squatters association, says he and his neighbors have invested millions of shillings on the purchase and development of the land. He vows that they won't leave without a fight.
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Documents from the Masaka lands office indicate that Masaka Hospital obtained the land in the 1920s when it was under the administration of the British colonialists.
Joseph Kazibwe, the Masaka lands official, says any squatters who have paid for the land were conned by fraudsters.