RDC Demands Probe into Return of Evicted Kyangwali Residents

1718 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
The call follows the reappearance of 845 evictees who are now hosted at Rwemisanga catholic parish in Kyangwali Sub County. The Parish Priest Reverend Father Peter Isingoma has confirmed that some of the residents were deserted near the parish after the eviction in September 2013 in which about 60,000 residents were evicted from 31 villages in Kasonga parish.

Hoima Deputy Resident District Commissioner Ambrose Mwesigye is calling for investigations into the return of residents initially evicted from Kyangwali refugee settlement area. 

The call follows the reappearance of 845 evictees who are now hosted at Rwemisanga catholic parish in Kyangwali Sub County. The Parish Priest Reverend Father Peter Isingoma has confirmed that some of the residents were deserted near the parish after the eviction in September 2013 in which about 60,000 residents were evicted from 31 villages in Kasonga parish.

He explains that several others have kept coming back, saying they had nowhere to stay. The group is now living in makeshift shelters on part of the parish land and has been allocated portions of land for cultivation.

These and several others had camped at the Kyangwali Sub County headquarters, awaiting the outcome of a petition to the Office of the Prime Minister challenging their eviction.

An inter-ministerial verification committee constituted to review the matter established that the evictees occupied the land illegally and recommended that they shouldn't be compensated but government would facilitate their return to original homes. 

The committee was headed by Major General Julius Oketta, the Emergency Relief Coordinator in the office of the Prime Minister.

They were subsequently removed from the Sub County headquarters in November, 2014 and taken to their respective places of origin which are spread as far as Bundibugyo, Kyenjojo and Kibaale. However, some of them have come back and pitched camp at the catholic parish headquarters, just about five kilometers away from the Kyangwali Sub county headquarters.

The development has irked the RDC who is now claiming that the return us fuelled by politicians for selfish interests. He added that this ought to be investigated and prosecuted for sabotaging government programs.

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Although the Deputy RDC did not name any politicians, The Oketta committee report implicated the Kyangwali LC3 Chairman Rwemera Mazirane and other sub county leaders for aiding illegal land allocations in the settlement area.

But Mazirane has since denied the claims saying the investigation team was biased against him. He has also denied ferrying back the evicted people, claiming that they had been dumped at the church by the team that spearheaded the resettlement.

Father Isingoma says the church decision to host the residents shouldn't be seen as fighting government. He maintains that the church cannot let God's people to suffer.