5 December 2017

Uganda: Road Project Leaves 50 Kabale Locals Homeless

Kabale — About 50 residents of Kigongi Ward in Central Division, Kabale Municipality, are homeless after their houses were pulled down by authorities to pave way for the construction of the 1.2km Karutusi Road.

Although property owners are demanding compensation, authorities say residents had built in a road reserve.

Ms Jolly Rugyerana, 67, a retired records assistant, said she has lived in the area for more than 30 years but had never been told that her house was constructed in a road reserve.

"If it is true that I have been staying in a place gazetted for a road for 30 years, I deserve compensation as a bonafide occupant so that I can find elsewhere to live," she said last Friday.

Kigoingi A cell chairman Deo Kabebasiza said whereas they welcome the construction of the road, the affected people should be compensated.

"It is true we want the road but our people should be compensated so that they can be able to buy alternative land on which they can stay and earn a living," Mr Kabebasiza said.

However, the Central Division chairperson, Mr Sam Arinaitwe, said residents were aware of the demolition exercise.

Mr Arinaitwe said dialogue with the affected residents had been ongoing since 2013 until July this year, adding that they were given three months to remove their investments.

"There is no central division officer that forcefully pulled down any house of any resident. After the expiry of agreed dates, the owners of the houses located in the road area pulled them down and some sold the building materials they removed from these houses while others took them to their other stores," he said.

Mr Arinaitwe also said they have received a letter of intent to sue from Ms Teddy Tabaro claiming that her building was pulled down during the exercise, "but our technocrats have since established that she is neither a resident of the place nor a property owner in the same locality".

"It will be up to her to prove before court that she owns property in this area," Mr Arinaitwe said.

The construction of the road is expected to be complete in one month.

Mr Arinaitwe said the council will then embark on the opening other roads that include Karutusi Close, Itaziya, Community Close, Kigongi and Banyu.

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