Pastor Demands UGX 4Bn Compensation for Karuma Land

2857 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Through his lawyer, Jude Ogik, Kilama contends that in 2011, the Energy and Mineral Developments Ministry paid him Shillings 10 million for an acre of land.

Pastor Robert Kilama, a resident of Awoo village in Kiryandongo district is seeking compensation of Shillings 4 billion from government for alleged encroachment on his land by Sinohydro Corporation Limited. Sinohydro Corporation Limited was contracted by government to undertake the construction of Karuma Hydro power dam. 

Kilama accuses the Chinese firm of setting up offices, residential premises and establishments related to the Karuma power project on his land illegally.Through his lawyer, Jude Ogik, Kilama contends that in 2011, the Energy and Mineral Developments Ministry paid him Shillings 10 million for an acre of land. He however, says Sinohydro Corporation Limited has since encroached on more than 50 acres of his land. 

Kilama's lawyer, Jude Ogik, says the company illegally evicted his client without compensation. He says while clearing the land, the company destroyed the graves of his two children, grass thatched houses, various trees and banana plantations.  In his suit filed before Masindi High Court on June 30th, Kilama wants the Energy Ministry to compensate him Shillings 4 billion for illegally taking over his land and disturbance allowance.

On July 1st, the Assistant Masindi High Court Registrar directed the Attorney General to respond to the suit within 15 days from the day he is served. He warned to proceed with the suit and deliver judgment should the Attorney General fail to respond. According to Ogik, their client has been chasing the Energy Ministry from 2013 for compensation in vain. 

He says when Ogik filed a suit in Masindi Magistrate's court, some officials from the Energy Ministry started following him to accept Shillings 600 million in vain. According to Ogik, their client can't accept the offer of Shillings 600 million since the value of his land has gone up.

He wonders why the ministry is carrying out development in a place that it has not acquired. Ibrahim Kasiita, the Energy Ministry Spokesperson told URN that he isn't aware of Kilama's concerns, adding that in any case he can't comment on the matter, since it is before court.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.