Uganda: Land Dispute Erupts in Kween, Bulambuli

12 February 2019

A fresh dispute has erupted between Kween and Bulambuli districts over ownership of land at the border between the two districts.

The contested land is near River Atari in Bunambutye Sub-county, Bulambuli District.

Bulambuli local government had given part of the said land to Fol Logistics Limited - an investor to establish a factory.

The conflict resurfaced last Thursday after a group of residents from Kween, armed with pangas, arrows and bows reportedly attacked government officials from the Ministry of Lands and Local Government, who were opening the boundaries.

Police confirmed the attack saying they have since deployed at the scene to curtail further clashes.

"We are still on ground and the situation is now calm," the District Police Commander (DPC) Bulambuli, Mr Alfonse Musoni, said.

Mr Rogers Taitika, the Elgon region police spokesperson, said: "We deployed because ours is to ensure there is no loss of lives but the rest is for politicians to handle because both districts claim ownership of the land," he said.

Mr Lawrence Wadada, the chief administrative officer, said the opening of the boundary was intended to provide lasting solutions to the land wrangles between the two districts.

He added: "The boundary is not known to us, so Ministry of Lands officials were called upon to open it so that we know the boundary and we stop acting on guesswork."

Mr Peter Paak Pex, the Resident District Commissioner of Bulambuli, said they are engaging leaders from both districts to help to restore peace.

Mr Pex condemned attacks on government officials. He explained that they have agreed to use the 1962 map to resolve the issue.

However, Mr Robert Chemusto, a resident of Kween, said the Bulambuli local government officials allocated their land to the investor, who wants to displace them without compensation.

"This is our land. We inherited it from our ancestors we will not allow anyone to use it without our permission," he said.

Conflicts

Government in 2012 recommended cancellation of land titles awarded for plots on controversial Bulambuli-Kapchorwa boundary.

The 67,400-acre land in Banambutye and Bwikonge sub-counties was a centre of controversy between the Sabiny and Bagisu, with the former claiming that the land belongs to them but they had only vacated it in the 70s.

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