There is growing tension in Isingiro District as government opens boundaries separating Nakivale Refugee Resettlement Camp land from that of the natives. Government succumbed to residents’ pressure to demarcate boundaries between the resettlement camp and land claimed by the residents there.
In January, the district chairperson, Mr Jeremiah Kamurari, launched an operation code-named Nakivale Nziima aimed at establishing the right boundaries.
The operation, security termed as illegal, led to the arrest of several residents and the fleeing of the district chairperson, who went into hiding for more than one month, only to resurface with a letter of forgiveness from the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, having pleaded with government for pardon. But government could not undermine the local pressure and last week, they started demarcating the land.The exercise kicked off in Rugaaga Sub-county.
Five sub-counties of Rugaaga, Kashumba, Mbaare, Ngarama, Rushasha and Kabingo Town Council neighbour Nakivale refugee land.
However, in a twist of events, residents, most of whom accused refugees of encroaching on their land are instead crying foul over the exercise.It turned out that most of them had illegally acquired the land. Mr Amos Katarikawe, one of the affected residents, said they were surprised by the abrupt exercise since there was no prior sensitisation.He called for dialogue to ensure they are not evicted.
Another resident, Mr Fenehansi Bamuturaki, appealed to government to reconsider the plight of citizens who have encroached on the refugee land. Most of the affected residents have no proof of ownership of the land and have now turned against their district chairperson whom they accuse of misleading them.