Land victims breathe a sigh of relief as govt budget includes UGX 200m for resettlement
By Mike Rwothomio
June 18th, 2023

By Kundu Ronald

Kiryandongo- Land victims in Kiryandongo who have awaited government resettlement for a very long period of time breathed a sigh of relief after the government provided UGX 200 million meant for their resettlement on ranch 11 in the 2023/2024 financial budget.

The victims including those evicted from Karuma wildlife reserve, those evicted from the former Palestinian farmland, the landless Nubian community, veterans on ranch 11, and the Kibeka/Nyamakere forest reserve settlers have all been waiting for their permanent resettlement as promised by the president for a long period of time.


The first conflict started around 1911 when people who until then lived in today’s Murchison Falls game park were resettled southwards upon its creation with people and institutions losing land. After gazetting the park people are south of Bunyoro Game Reserve.

When the Karuma wildlife reserve was created, they moved south in vast lands. In 1968 an aerial survey of the disputed “Mawanda” boundary of the wildlife reserve was done and no topographical survey was done until recently when beacons were placed causing violent conflicts.

During Amin’s regime in 1976, another conflict occurred as a result of irregular expropriation of land during the establishment of the former Palestinian land. In this case, peoples’ assets and property were assessed and valued with the hope of compensation or resettlement only to be brutally evicted. The majority of those evicted rushed back to the game reserve amidst unclear boundaries.

After the fall of Amin, the original occupants of the Palestinian farmland regained occupancy as there was no activity taking place on the land, and bearing in mind, they had not been compensated.

In 1986 when the NRM government came to power, the government was desirous of rejuvenating the land as a UPDF farm and in the process ignorantly evicted everybody that had occupied the land. The victims still moved to the game reserve.

In 1994 and 1998 evictions from the wildlife reserve were done in a bid to secure it amidst disputes. In 1999 a violent dispute occurred along the reserve boundary culminating in a brutal eviction that led to the loss of life and property.

Masindi district council conducted a probe into these evictions in 2000, a report was produced and submitted to the Ministry of Lands.

The Masindi probe report was considered by the cabinet and a decision was made to resettle these people together with the Nubians on Ranch 11.

This was followed by the launch of the resettlement committee by Hon Baguma Isoke pending the land fund.

In 2003 the conflict was again resurrected with the leasing of the former UPDF farmland to the Mukwano group of companies. In 2006, the president requested the minister in charge of the presidency to handle the Nubian community which did not happen.

For all this long, victims have made various attempts to have government resettle them but several pledges by the government had never come to pass.

The news of budgeting for the resettlement fund amounting to 200 million has caused a sigh of relief to the victims who hope that they will finally get resettled soon.

Hon Karubanga Jacob the MP for Kibanda South was grateful upon the inclusion of the funds in the FY 2023/2024 budget. He thanked all those who stood firm in the matter.

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