Leaders in the Bunyoro sub region have complained that top government officials and security operatives are allegedly fueling land eviction and grabbing in the area.
Several families in the Bunyoro sub region are being threatened with evictions by suspected land grabbers and speculators who have invaded the area following the discovery of oil and gas.
In Hoima the most affected sub counties where residents are threatened with evictions are Buseruka, Kigorobya, Buraru, Kyabigambire,Kitoba and Buhanika while in Kikuube the most affected sub-counties with fraudulently acquired titles that are putting residents on tension are Kyangwali,Kabwoya and Buhimb.
In these areas several fraudulently acquired land titles have emerged moreover on land where locals have settled on for more than 60 years.
Now leaders in the region are accusing high ranking government officials with connections in the country of being behind the rampant, brutal land evictions in the region.
Kadir Kirungi, the Hoima LCV Chairperson says several residents in the area are at the verge of being forcefully evicted from their ancestral land following the fraudulently acquired titles by high-ranking government officials in the country. He says some top security officials in the country are also behind the rampant land grabbing in the area.
Kirungi wants a special affirmative action given to the people of Bunyoro sub-region following the massive land conflicts that have occurred due to the oil discovery.
Vicent Alpha Opio, the Kikuube LCV Vice Chairperson says the current situation if not immediately addressed, could compel residents to lose their land given the high rate of fraudulently acquired titles that have put many families on the verge of being evicted from the ancestral land on which they have been settled for decades.
According to Opio, the land grabbers are highly connected to the extent that the locals cannot afford to challenge them in courts of law.
Opio wants the government to immediately intervene and avail the vulnerable citizens with free land titles to guard them against the land grabbers and speculators saying this is the only way the local persons will survive evictions.
Pius Wakabi, the Bugahya county member of parliament says in his constituency alone, there are over 20 fraudulently acquired land titles that are putting residents on tension.
“The title owners are not known to area residents and leaders yet they are claiming land where people have settled on since the 1940s. Where are these people coming from and how did they manage to get titles on land belonging to area residents. Something must be done if not all people in Bunyoro are likely to lose their land to the grabbers.“
According to Wakabi, the land grabbers especially those with connections with top government officials have started threatening lives of area leaders who are fighting for the rights of the local people.
The legislator says much needs to be done by the government to protect innocent people in the Bunyoro sub-region who are being threatened with forceful evictions moreover by big people in the government following the discovery of oil in the region.
Leaders in Bunyoro sub-region have severally raised the red flag over the increasing existence of fraudulent land titles in the region. According to the leaders, there are many land titles in the region that were acquired fraudulently hence putting residents on the verge of being evicted from their ancestral land.
A number of brutal and forceful evictions have taken place in the Bunyoro sub-region since 2014.
In February 2019, more than 500 families were brutally evicted from their ancestral land in Kyabisagazi 1 and Kyabisagazi 2 villages in Kigorobya sub-county Hoima district.
Four toddlers were killed during the brutal eviction by armed men in uniforms similar to those of the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces and the Anti-riot police.
The contested land measuring 485 acres was at the center of a dispute between Edgar Agaba, a businessman in Hoima town and more than 500 families. To date, the evicted people have never received any help and are landless.
President Museveni while in Bunyoro in January for the commissioning of oil roads, tasked Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to intervene in the escalating land grabbing issues in the region and give him a report so that the land grabbers are dealt with once and for all.