Crime

OVER 5,000 RESIDENTS FACE EVICTION

By Joseph Tindyebwa

KAGADI: Residents from over twenty villages of Kicucura and Kiryanga sub-counties in Kagadi district are in fear of eviction from their lands after getting reports about creation of new Kisongi forest reserve gazetted on their lands.

On the weekend, over 5000 residents from the affected areas held a meeting at Kijagi market in Kicucura sub-county convened by the Buyaga East Member of Parliament Hon. Musana Eric Acaari, National forestry Authority (NFA) representatives, Kagadi district forestry officer and other leaders to consult from them about a new Kisongi forest reserve that is covering their lands.

Gregory Mujungu the LC3 chairperson Kicucura sub-county said the Kisongi forest reserve was first heard about last year by residents who had gone to Kibaale lands office to process their land titles.

He also said residents have been filled with shock to hear of the forest reserve that is taking their lands that they have never heard of before.

”Residents have been filled with shock to hear of the forest reserve that is taking their lands that they have never heard of before,” he asserted.

Mzee Rudovico Nkuna aged 76 and other senior residents say they were born on the land and have never heard of the Kisongi forest reserve.

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”We were borne on this land, and we have never heard of the Kisongi forest reserve,” they revealed.
They say there might be land grabbers conniving with Kibaale district lands office to evict them from their lands in the name of the created forest reserve.

Residents are decrying for the elected leaders and government to come to their rescue.
Joseph Kitaburike the National Forestry Authority supervisor for greater Kiryanga said NFA does not know Kisongi forest reserve and it has never existed in Kagadi district.

”National Forestry Authority doesn’t know Kisongi forest reserve, and it has never existed in Kagadi district,” he contended.

Patrick Abigaba the Kagadi district forestry officer also said Kisongi forest reserve does not exist in the district’s local forest reserves.
He has asked residents to remain calm assuring them that any time his office will research and find out land grabbers behind the move.

”We don’t have Kisongi forest reserve in the district’s local forest reserves, and we do research to find out land grabbers behind the move,” he assured residents.

Meanwhile Hon Musana Eric Acaari the Buyaga East MP asked residents to remain calm and assured them that nobody will evict them from their lands.

He further asked them to continue doing income generating activities on their lands to advance their house hold incomes.

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