600 people in Igayaza Parish in Kibaale District are threatened with eviction from their land.
During a meeting at Igayaza trading center, they claimed that the 320 acres, which they are occupying as Bibanja tenants, has been bought by Josephat Tumwesigye. Tumwesigye is also a resident of Igayaza.
At the meeting, Gerevazio Twesigye, one of the residents, said they have learned that they must pay land lease fees next year or they will be evicted. He said they have called for a discussion with Tumwesigye over the matter on several occasions, but he has declined to meet them to discuss their fate.
The residents want government to buy the land title so they can rent the property directly from the state. They have appointed a seven-member committee to lobby for the protection of their land rights.
Josephat Tumwesigye says there is no cause for alarm. He says he doesn't intend to evict anyone from the property in a manner without discussing the matter with them first.
The land in Igayaza belonged to a Muganda absentee landlord. Most of the residents there are migrants from Kigezi who moved to Kibaale under a government settlement program in 1992.