The Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has lashed out at Government over the rampant land evictions in the country.
This follows the latest incident that occurred in Kiryadongo district where 35,000 people are said to have been evicted from 9,300 acres of land to pave way for investors.
The Speaker made the remarks today during the plenary sitting where she warned Government that the evictions which have become a new norm in the country are creating a group of landless people.
“So Government has come out and allocated land for serious farming activities, but so far, 14 primary schools, 20 churches and 8 health units have been demolished. How could Government build primary school on land which was being occupied illegally?” Kadaga wondered.
The Speaker’s remarks were in response to reports that more than 30,000 residents in Kitwale Subcounty Kiryadongo district in seven villages were left homeless as their land is prepared for American company, Agilis Partners an eviction that has created a humanitarian crisis after residents were violently and forcefully evicted without compensation to make way for the company’s agricultural activities.
Kadaga said that when the RDC was asked about the matter, he simply mocked the evictees saying they deserved the eviction because of encroaching on land earmarked for ranches.
Reports indicate that the contested land measures approximately 9,500 acres and has been lawfully occupied by more than 30,000 families since 1937.
Some of the evicted residents have begun an online petition seeking to halt the evictions that started in November 2016, and during the fateful period, the company and its agents used live ammunitions to shoot two people including an 11-year old school boy, Ponsiano Ssewankambo who was forced to drop out of school due to deadly injuries he sustained, and tear-gassed pupils of Kabyanga Primary School while in their classrooms.
In December 2017, the investors demolished over six schools namely; RCC Nursery and Primary School, Bright Future Nursery and Primary School, Good Hope Nursery and Primary School, Aloko Nursery and Primary School, Kololo Nursery and Primary School and God’s Grace Nursery and Primary School, an action that has seen over 2500 pupils drop out of school due to the long distances to a nearby government school.
“I think as a country we are creating landless services, we are creating unhappy people, we are creating poverty by these actions, it is no longer raising eyebrows. I hope government can come up and tell us what they are going to do otherwise we are creating a very big problem,” Kadaga said, tasking Government to explain the situation.