Government has given one week time frame to pastoralists and cultivators to vacate the oil refinery land in Kabaale parish, Busruka sub-county Hoima district.
This follows reports that pastoralists who were evicted from northern Uganda are ferrying hundreds of cattle into the oil refinery land for grazing while residents neighboring the same land had turned area into their farm land.
Addressing the alleged oil refinery encroachers at Nyamasoga primary school on Thursday, Major General Sam Okidingi, the commandant Field Artillery Masindi army barracks emphasized that all illegal activities in the refinery land must stop within a week.
He noted that the eviction is done to protect the interests of over 38 million Ugandans who are expected to benefit from the refinery other than a few individuals who want to utilize it for their own gains.
He said they have noticed a similar problem where hundreds heads of cattle are being ferried into districts of Masindi, Buliisa, Kiryadongo and others advising the herdsmen to consider embracing modern methods of cattle keeping.
Christopher Kasalawo, the senior commissioner of police and deputy director counter terrorism unit asked the affected families to adhere to the directives and keep law and order.
Kasalawo revealed that police has created an investigation committee on the police officers who have been allegedly taking bribes from pastoralists to carry out illegal grazing.
John Steven Ekom, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner said government had let the pastoralists graze their animals in the refinery land during the dry spell despite the fact that most people had been compensated.
He thus confirmed that it was time for them to vacate since the drought is over. He added that the district is willing to issue movement permits to those ferrying their cattle outside the district to avoid inconveniences.
OzibondiTwesigye, head of the pastoralists however said the time given to them to vacate was too short proposing that they would have been given two months.
But Ekom turned down the proposal saying they are going to deploy the army and police to Mann security in the area.
Source: www.mknewslink.com; a western Uganda news website.