Kyaka Land Dispute: Former Tooro PM Protests Survey Report Top story

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In short
According to Irumba, instead of seeking to resolve the dispute through a genuine boundary opening exercise, the surveyors distorted the exercise and created a new survey entity to suit their needs.

Stephen Irumba, the former Tooro Premier is up in arms over a report ordering him to vacate a disputed piece of land he claims to be his. 

Irumba accuses government of grabbing 200 of his 500 acres of land and turning it into a refugee settlement area.

The disputed land is adjacent to Kyaka I Refugee Settlement where the Ministry of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees resettled more than 100 families in 2016. 

In January, Betty Amongi, the Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development launched the boundary opening exercise. The exercise, which was ordered by the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, was to determine whether Irumba's land is inside or outside the refugee settlement and whether government encroached on his land.  

At the launch of the exercise, Amongi said the boundaries will be opened based on the 1964 topographic map when Kyaka I was gazetted as a refugee settlement area.

Last week, the surveyors in their final report did not open the boundaries as per the terms of reference but instead surveyed the disputed land and indicated that Irumba's land is located within the refugee settlement, which was gazetted as a refugee settlement in 1964. In the report to Dr Rugunda, the surveyors recommended that Irumba surrenders part of the land to the government since he is illegally occupying it. 

Irumba has, however, disputed the report saying that the surveyors contravened the terms of reference of the exercise. He explains that the surveyors were supposed to open the pre-existent boundaries and also determine the area constituting Kyaka I refugee settlement as of 25th September 1964 and not to carry out a new survey.
According to Irumba, instead of seeking to resolve the dispute through a genuine boundary opening exercise, the surveyors distorted the exercise and created a new survey entity to suit their needs.  

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In a telephone interview, Wilson Ogaro, the Commissioner Survey and Mappings, who led the exercise, said that they stand by the report and want Irumba to respect the  recommendations in the report. Irumba is expected to appear this week before the Commission of Inquiry into land matters chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire.


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.