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Locals drag Isimba contractor, gov’t to court over land

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Kampala: Nine Ugandans have petitioned Mukono High Court challenging gov’t acquisition and subsequent donation of their land to a Chinese company, China International Water and Electric Cooperation, to construct on Isimba dam without prompt and fair compensation.

The move, they argue, infringed on their right to own property.

The petitioners are; Disson Nsubuga, Berenado Ssajjabi, Apoogo John, John Wafula, Okuni Owori, Adriano Owori, Ali Kagoda, Celina Etapu and Rose Acheing.

As justice, the nine petitioners want court to order both the Chinese company and government to pay them shs202billion, as the adequate and fair compensation, for the 27.852 acres in Nakalooke village Kayunga district.

Until the payment is done, the petitioners want court to block the contractor from excavating rocks and or doing any other work on the land.

“The respondents compulsorily and with use of force entered into the applicants land and started excavating rocks that were used in the construction of Isimba hydro power dam,” read in part of the plaintiff.

Applicants say that in 2014, when the ministry of energy started the multi-million Isimba hydro power dam, government compulsorily without authorization according to Ugandan land laws, government engaged Kagga and partners to access the parcels of land for compensation of applicants and other project affected persons.

Subsequently, they petition notes, the land was condoned off and a quarry was established and the contractor started blasting rocks yet it was not put under the accessed property. The owner of the hitherto land protested the development but his pleas fell on deaf ears.

Petitioners revealed that the purchase agreements and proof of ownership agreements were all retained by valuing company.

The Isimba case is not the first scenario where local fight with government over compensation.

The people round Karuma hydro power project had gone uncompensated for a similar rock till when high court HCCS No. 252 OF 2015 Etot Paul peter and other Vs attorney general and Sino hydro cooperation Ltd to compensate the applicants.

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