Two Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have delivered food items to residents who were evicted from their ancestral land in Kyangwali sub-county in Kikuube district.
The over 1,000 residents have pitched camp in an internally displaced camp kind of set-up, near the Resident District Commissioner’s (RDC’s) office since February last year.
The affected mainly women, men and children were evicted from Bukinda parish in Kyangwali sub-county in the villages of Bukinda A and B, Kyeya A and B, Bukinda 2, Kavule, Bwizibwera A and B, Kabirizi, Nyaruhanga and Nyamigisa, among others.
They were evicted in September 2013 by the Office of the Prime Minister with the help of police and the army from a 36-square mile piece of land now under dispute between them and the Kyangwali refugee settlement.
They first camped at Kyangwali sub-county headquarters in their makeshift structures until they were later resettled in Kyeya village, a land curved out of the refugee land in conditions they termed as squalid conditions.
They said the land was besides being claimed by some individuals who even acquired land titles.
They had to flee to where they were given a 20 by 100 yard plot near the RDC’s by a Good Samaritan.
Although in 2016 and 2018, President Yoweri Museveni ordered that the evicted residents be resettled on the land, the President made a change of mind on the matter in a letter dated July 17, 2022 after an investigation proved that the evicted residents had encroached on the said.
The President referred to the evictees as liars who want to steal government land. He ordered Robinah Nabanja, the current Prime Minister to order them to accept the 2.5 acres ex-gratia allocated to each family or they forfeit even that one and stop disturbing public peace with their lies.
However, the evicted residents say the President was being misled about the matter and continue to stay near the RDC’s place recounting how they are going without food.
In order to help the evictees to meet this protracted food shortage, on January 16, 2023, two NGOs-Labour and Consumer Advocacy (LACA) and Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID) with funding from Oxfam an international NGO under the emergency relief fund, donated food items.
The food items which included 600 kilograms of Rice, 750 kilograms of Maize flour and 750 kilograms of beans to cater for 150 women led households until any other donations came.
Brenda T. Namande, director programmes at LACA says she prays that the government to returns them to the land so that they can cultivate, give birth to children in normal hospitals and take their children back to school.
Amlan Tumusiime, the Kikuube RDC who said that he once in a while gives support to the evictees out of his pocket, added that since last year, seven people have given birth in the camp.
Tumusiime appealed to other well-wishers to offer more support as they look for a lasting solution to the problem.
Julius Twinomugisha, the camp chairperson claims that the camp accommodates a total of 2,300 people of which 700 are women.
He said they lack sanitary facilities, enough shelter, adding that babies have in the past died after being exposed to cold weather.