More than 200 squatters on a disputed piece of land in Bukalasa South Central Village in Wobulenzi have refused to vacate the land. The residents accuse Christine Anyait, principal Bukalasa Agriculture College of attempting to grab the 80 acre piece of land saying it belongs to the army.
More than 200 squatters on a disputed piece of land in Bukalasa South Central Village in Wobulenzi have refused to vacate the land. The residents accuse Christine Anyait, principal Bukalasa Agriculture College of attempting to grab the 80 acre piece of land saying it belongs to the army. Trouble between Anyait and the residents started in July 2011, when she issued them with an eviction notice to vacate the land by the end of the year.
In her letter, Anyait explains that the college has secured the land from ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and fisheries. However, the residents defied the eviction notice and went on with their normal activities on the land. Now, the college has deployed several cops in the disputed land to evict the residents. Tension is mounting as tenants vow not to vacate the land and want the district and UPDF to intervene in the matter and order the college to back off the land.
Michael Wande, Bukakasa South Central Village LC I chairperson says that they have lived on the disputed land for over 20 years. He says that ministry of agriculture lost its claim on the land to Uganda People’s Defense Forces which applied for it from Uganda Land Commission to construct the National Military Hospital but the project hit a snag. Wande explains that they petitioned Bombo army barracks commanders who accepted their occupancy on the land but they are shocked to see the new principal of the college ordering them to vacate it.
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Lawrence Nyanzi, another resident accuses the college principal of attempting to evict them yet the college has a big chunk of unutilized land. Residents claim that officials from the district have also started grabbing the same land for their occupation. Residents have asked the district executive and council to investigate the matter and block their proposed eviction.
Proscovia Namansa, speaker Luweero District Council says that the report on the disputed land will be presented to council in the next session. But Christine Anyait, the principal Bukalasa Agriculture College says that she got a directive from the agriculture ministry to evict the encroachers and utilize the land.
She however admits that the title of the disputed piece of land is still in the names of UPDF. Lt. Col Felix Kulayigye, UPDF spokesman was not sure whether the land is still owned by the army or ministry of Agriculture. He however says that since the complainants are encroachers they should vacate the land.
ministry of agriculture animal husbandry and fisheries
uganda peoples defence forces
bukalasa agriculture college
luweero district council
eviction and land grabbing