Kiryandongo: MP Taban Amin and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni propose to evict 2000 residents of Dima in Kiryandongo district
More than 2000 residents of Dima in Kiryandongo district are living in fear after they have received the news of a plan by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the Kiryandongo district MP Taban Amin proposals to evict them from Dima.
Residents of Dima claimed they have lived on this land for more than 40 years but the President and MP Taban Amin insist that the land they have occupied belong to the government .President Museveni proposes to use the 700 acres of land for his agricultural farm.The Albertine watch spoke to many communities members of Dima and they told us the proposal by president Museveni and MP Taban Amin to evict them is a violation of their fundamental human rights and it’s totally unfair.
“We were born here and this land belong to our ancestors. Now that the president and the MP we elected ourselves propose to evict us , there is no where we are going to go to . The president should think about other options if he is interested in farming on our land in Dima- Kiryandongo. We are ready to die and the president plans to evict us will not materialise. We are not interested in any meeting with both the president and MP Taban Amin” says an anonymous person the Albertine Watch spoke to.
Mr Ayela who is also the resident of Dima says that he knew that Taban Amin would sell them since he began to see the MP vehicle visiting Dima frequently .He said it will be a very big mistake if the Kiryandongo MP Taban Amin connive with president Museveni to evict more than 2000 communities members who have had the Dima land since times in- memorial.
“The president should come and buy the land from us if he is interested in doing agriculture in Dima. But the plan to evict us will not work .We shall burn the presidential convoy if he attempt to disturb our peace. Since time in-memorial, we were not told that this land belongs to the government .We have been on this land for the last 35 years” says a woman the Albertine Watch spoke to. We could not reveal her identity and true name for security reason.
A close friend of MP Taban Amin told the Albertine Watch that its true that President Museveni want to use the land in Dima for his agriculture demonstration farm which according to the president he says will create employment opportunities to the residents of Kiryandongo district.
The friend of MP Taban Amin told the Albertine Watch that by all means president Museveni is determined to evict the residents of Dima. He says although the residents of Dima are determined to riot ,but this wont help them because a president will always remain a president and he has the absolute power to evict them whether they like it or not.
Another woman identified as Nyakana (not real name) says the MP and president should not think about evicting people but instead should negotiate with land owners who are ready to secure or lease their plots of land to president Museveni for his ambitious agricultural project.She accused MP Taban Amin of supporting president Museveni proposal to evict people from their own land.
Dima is located in Kiryandongo district in the mid-western region of Uganda. Kiryandongo district borders Nwoya District in the North, Oyam in the North East, Apac in the East, Masindi in the South and South West and Buliisa in the North West. The district has a land areas of 3,624.1 km2 of which 1,747 km2 is arable according to the Uganda Investment Authority Kiryandongo profile reports.
The majority of the population in the district of Kiryandongo are engaged in farming. Major crops grown include Cassava, Sweet Potatoes, Maize, Beans and Groundnuts. Others are Simsim, Rice and vegetables. Cash crops including Cotton, Sunflower and Tobacco are widely grown for income generation. Other major activities carried out include livestock rearing, fishing.
Other people think that it could be because the president has got some advance knowledge of abundant mineral deposits in Dima that is prompting him to propose eviction of more than 2000 communities members of Dima. Kiryandongo is known for vast and abundant mineral resources potential such as presence of nickel, platinum, chromium and iron which has been studied and awaiting confirmation through further tests. So, its clear that president Museveni is running after some good stuff.
Recently, It is alleged that more than 5000 families have been rendered homeless in the ongoing forceful eviction in Kiryandongo district.
The evicted families under their Nyamalebe Landless Association were settled by the government on ranches 15, 20, 21, 22 and 23 in the two Sub Counties under the 1990 Ranches Restructuring Scheme.
They accuse two companies; Agilis Partners Limited, a grain dealing company and Kiryandongo Sugar Limited of colluding with the Police and the office of the Resident District Commissioner to violently evict them and destroying property worth millions of shillings.
It is also alleged that Military Gen Tumwine obtained the title for the 778 hectares (about 1,922 acres) from Karegyeya who entrusted it to him as a friend but he instead mortgaged it in a bank, that later sold off the land when he failed to pay back the loan.