High court has issued an interim order restraining government from evicting people occupying part of Nakivale refugee settlement land in Isingiro district.
High court has issued an interim order restraining government from evicting people occupying part of Nakivale refugee settlement land in Isingiro district. It follows an application filed by the affected families through their lawyer, Medard Ssegona asking court to block their eviction until court disposes of their main petition.
The interim order was issued on Thursday by Henry Twinomuhwezi, the assistant Mbarara High Court registrar saying it will remain in force up to 30th May, 2012 when the main suit comes up for hearing. In the main application the residents want court to declare them as bonafide owners of the disputed land following threats by government to evict them.
Trouble started last month after Dr. Steven Malinga, the minister disaster preparedness issued the residents with an eviction notice to pave way for the resettlement of refugees. The Government accuses over 700 families occupying the land of forcefully grabbing it. Silver Mwesigwa, speaker Isingiro District council says that the court order marks the beginning of people’s victory.
He says that residents have been under a lot of pressure, fear and intimidation since the minister issued the eviction notice. Mwesigwa says that as Isingiro district council they plan to petition parliament to pronounce itself on the matter and stop any further evictions. Joseph Kiiza, the area council says encroachment on Nakivale refugee settlement land started in 1996 after the massive repatriation of Rwandese refugees.
He says that many of the settlers even acquired titles to the land. The settlement currently hosts over 55.000 refugees.
mbarara high court
700 isingiro families secure court order blocking their eviction of
nakivale settlement land encroached on by residents
isingiro district council supports the move