Community members of Ijumangabo, Butimba Village, Kiziranfumbi Sub-county, and Hoima District have sought guidance from the Hoima Resident District commissioner (RDC) over Land grabbing threats received from Reserve Force Veterans coordinated by Sergeant Peter Bagonza who claim ownership of part of their land.

In a letter addressed to the RDC with a subject line “RE-VISIT TO IJUMANGABO RESERVE FORCE POLITICAL WING SCHEDULED FOR 25TH AUGUST 2107”, signed by Sgt. Bagonza Peter indicates that the purpose of the visit to the land located in Kiziranfumbi Sub-county by the Reserve Force Veterans on 25th August 2017 was to solely check on the Force’s projects, talk to the people settling on and around it then start utilizing it for their Projects.

Butimba village, being near the proposed site for the oil refinery is a hotspot for land grabbing.  Butimba LC1 Chairman Samuel Tugumisirize says Ijumangabo area has no Local Council Chairperson though the letter is duplicated to Ijumangabo LC1 and the land in question was only functional in the 1990s when the Police hired it to carryout trainings locally known as “Muchaka-Muchaka”.

Reverend Fred Musimenta the Butimba sustainability village community Educator said that the RDC hadassuredthem that the Reserve force Veterans have no legal ownership of Ijumangabo area land.

“The RDC told us that as Butimba residents we surround anyone who trespasses and we call him to take action.

The Hoima Resident District CommissionerStephen Ekom confirmed to have received Objection from Butimba community members about the Ijumangabo land grabbing threats by Reserve Force veterans advising them on how to handle the matter if there are more actions by the perpetrators but refuted claims of having any knowledge about the said visit in a letter addressed to him.

“There is no area in Butimba village reserved for any Government project as claimed by Reserve Force Veterans Coordinator Sgt. Peter Bagonza, he is only duping people but I advised the residents on what to do” Nyakahuma clarified.

Sgt.Bagonza when reached for a comment said its true Ijumangabo has part of the land bordered by Ijumangabo River supplied by River Wambabya in Butimba village “political wing” which was hired for “Muchaka Muchaka” in 1990s but remained in the hands of Government he was silent about the next date of the planned visited, he still stood on his point of Government project start up on the said land.

This acts as a milestone for NAPE since Butimba village in Kiziranfumbi Sub-county is one of NAPE’s Sustainability school program area of Advocacy,the Sustainability School Program initiated by NAPE as one of its project, advocates for strong Communities that fight for their rights.

Story by Dorcus Drijaru