Kampala: The Office of the Prime Minister has clarified on the ownership of the 48 square miles piece of land where Ugandans expelled from Tanzania were settled last year.
In a press statement from the prime ministers spokesperson, the premier’s office says that contrary to claims the former Tooro Prime Minister, Steven Irumba, the disputed land belongs to government.
“The land in question was gazetted on 18th September 1964 as government land under the custody of Uganda land commission covering an area of 48 square miles in Kyaka, Kyegegwa district.
“From the time it was gazetted up to 1994 (54years), this land was used by the government to host refugees from Rwanda and Congo,” the statement reads in part.
Over 5,000 Ugandans who were expelled from Tanzania were settled by the Ugandan government on a piece of land in Kyegegwa district between June 2016 and March 2017.
Towards the conclusion of the resettlement exercise, Mr. Steven Irumba approached OPM claiming that government had grabbed his private land and settled people on it.
However, Prime Minister’s office notes that the same matter was brought to the attention of the ministry of land, relevant ministers and Kyegegwa district officials who held several meetings and field verification visits to try and resolve it.
It further notes that after government decided to settle the over 5000 Tanzania expellees on part of the controversial land, most of them took advantage and started encroaching and settling on the entire Kazinga zone of Kyaka 1.
“It is important for these facts to be put across for everyone to know,” the statement reads. “Encroachers on this land who are over 10,000 acknowledged that the land they were occupying belonged to government and that Mr Irumba is the only encroacher who has refused to accept.”