By our reporter
Residents who operate business at Kiryana Trading centre in Myeba-Karongo villages in Kimengo Sub county Masindi district have today morning blocked Masindi –Kafu road in protest of the eviction from Uganda Investment Authority-UIA land, bringing traffic at a standstill.
The protest was sparked off by Mena Foods Company limited which erected a chain link surrounding the land.
Vehicles which were going to Kampala were blocked until Police from Kimengo police station intervened and forced the residents to remove stones and logs they had used to block the road.
Officer in Charge of Kimengo police station in Masindi district ASP Steven Mukosa convinced the angry residents to remove the logs from the road promising them that their issues will be handled.
Mukosa said that the land issue has no connection with the road users and advised the residents to take their issues to relevant offices for handling.
Uganda Investment Authority-UIA bought the contested land from Bunyoro Grower’s Union in 2005.
It later leased out the land to Mena food Limited, which is now fencing off 60 square miles which has more than 2000 people.
However, some of the affected residents say that they had settled on the land before Bunyoro Grower’s Union sold it to Uganda Investment Authority in 2005.
Samuel Kalisa, 80, says he has been on the land for more than 30 years and if evicted, he has nowhere to take his family.
Another resident identified as Justine said that she has animals and crops on the land and frequently security forces have been harassing them.
Samuel Mugarura, another resident, is wondering about seeing investors evicting them in the lock down situation noting that people have settled on that land for over 15 years and they have no other option.
Cosmas Byaruhanga, the Masindi district local council 5 Chairperson revealed that Justice Catherine Bamugemereire advised the government to compensate residents before being evicted but nothing has been done.
He therefore called upon the government to fulfill their pledge of compensating the residents and security forces to stop the torture and treat them like any other Ugandan.
www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website