More than 500 farmers in Lwengo Sub County in Masaka have vowed not to leave their 200 hectare farm land unless they are compensated by its new owner.
Kibedi Kalaveeli, a Ugandan businessman based in Southern Sudan recently issued an eviction notice to the farmers when he bought the land from the district land board.
The disputed land is found in Kyasenya village. Its cover Namunungu and Kyebambe hills. Kalaveeli says that he wants to use the land to graze his cows, but the farmers insist they will not leave, without compensation.
On Saturday, the affected farmers from Kakira, Kyasenya, Jagga, and Katwe convened a meeting at Kyasenya trading center, during which they resolved not to vacate the land.
Led by John Buzaale, the area chairperson, the residents argue that they would not leave the land they have stayed on for more than 60 years, without compensation.
The angry farmers accuse Davis Kiiza, the Lwengo sub county chairperson of conniving with Kalaveeli to evict them. According to Buzaale, Kalaveeli has ignored their pleas to compensate them.
He says that farmers own gardens of cabbage, tomatoes, Irish potatoes, maize, coffee, sweet potatoes, and banana plantations, and onion farms.
James Tulimunsi, another affected farmer claims that he has been paying Nvujjo and Busuulu to the late land lord Raphiline Namukasa and can not just leave his farm without compensation.
Tulimunsi says that his entire family depends on earnings form the farm to survive. Isaac Sejjoba, the Bukoto Mid West Member of parliament where the disputed land is located says accuse Kalaveeli of irregularly evicting the farmers.
Sejjoba, who also attended the farmers meeting, has threatened to drag Kalaveeli to court.
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However, Davis Kiiza, the Lwengo Sub County chairperson who is accused of taking a bribe to expedite the land transaction denies any wrong.
Kiiza says he simply allowed the land lord to erect a fence following a court order allowing him to occupy his land. Kiiza also says that no farmer has been ordered to leave the land.
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However, Kibedi told the URN, that none of the farmers has a right to stay on his land. Kalaveeli says that he is going to use extra means to evict the farmers.