3500 ACRES WILL GO TO PASTORALISTS, 766 TO CALTIVATORS-RDC
The minister for the presidency Milly Babalanda has dispatched a team of two commissioners to Kasese district to establish facts on the ground in regards to a land wrangle between pastoralists (Basongora) and caltivators (Bakonzo).
The team which has since returned was sent after one of the groups (pastoralists) petitioned her ministry as preparations to start demarcation of land were due to commence.
The Minister’s decision has since left area MP Sowedi Kitanywa to call for a speedy handling of this matter to avoid unnecessary tension in the community.
He made the call during parliament’s sitting chaired by the deputy speaker Thomas Tayebwa.
He says there’s escalating tension between the cultivators (Bakonzo) and pastoralists (Basongora) in Ngoko village ,Hima Parish Kitswamba sub county in Kasese district.
The MP says this tension is as result of the settlement of pastoralists in this area on the former government farm, but the area RDC Lt. Walusimbi says efforts are underway to resolve the matter by subdividing the land.
Walusimbi told this news site that already a joint survey report by the UPDF, Ministry for Lands and State House is out and parcelled out 3500 acres of land to pastoralists, 766 acres the caltivators while any possible remaining land shall be decided upon by government.
“The joint survey report is out and the exercise of opening boundaries was about to start and supervised by the minister for lands Dr. Sam Mayanja. However, it was temporarily halted after a petition was taken to the minister for Presidency Milly Babalanda by the pastoralists. The minister responded quickly by sending two commissioners here to establish facts on the ground and we’re waiting for her to harmonise with Dr. Mayanja so that we start the demarcation exercise” he said.
The RDC said the commissioners have already returned to Kampala to brief the presidency minister on their findings and soon, the exercise will begin.
He said the surveyors will begin with the 3500 acres, then the 766 acres and if there’s any balance of land, it will be governmnent to decide on how to distribute it.
Walusimbi however, downplayed MP Kitanywa’s allegations of brewing tension among the two communities, saying the two sides continue to live peacefully in spite of isolated misunderstandings.
“The situation is not worse as the honorable member of parliament would want to potray it. Both sides are still listening and are willing to cooperate to have this matter resolved” he said.
It is stated that during the settlement of the pastoralists, the cultivators who were staying at the adjacent land were displaced which forced them to run to Fort portal court and the court ruled in their favor to retain 766 acres of their land .
However, Kitanywa told parliament that since the court ruling in 2016, the cultivators have not accessed their land in spite of the efforts by the minister of state for Lands Sam Mayanja to enable them retain their land.
Kitanywa requested the government to intervene and divide this land for each side to get its land to stop the brewing tension.
Meanwhile, the minister for Lands Judith Nabakooba said that they are trying to resolve this land conflict peacefully.