Uganda Railway Corporation insists on evicting encroachers from its land in Kasese


People who are accused of encroaching on the Uganda Railway Corporation land in Kasese Municipality have requested for forgiveness from government.

The affected residents through their Lawyer, Geoffrey Mishele sounded the request today afternoon during their mediation meeting with the Uganda Railway Corporation. The meeting which was held at the District Multipurpose hall in Nyamwamba Division was officiated over by the Justice Centers of Uganda.

In his presentation to the delegates from the Corporation, Counsel Mishele indicated that he was having two civil suit files I and II of 134 plaintiffs against the Uganda Railway Corporation.

The first file with civil suit 39/2021conatins 43 plaintiffs who claim to have entered the suit land as early 2005 and claim to be having  agreements signed by the Uganda Railway Corporation’s worker, David Sebek.

File 2 with 91 plaintiffs under civil suit 40/2021; claim that they entered the suit land as early as 2001 when the ADF rebel war was ceasing. They argue that when the ADF rebels attacked the people, they were forced to move from the highlands to the low lands and obtained pieces of land in the disputed areas.

They note that when the ADF rebel war ended, the rest of their people went back to different areas and they remained while others started selling pieces of land in the face of local leaders by then in 2001.

Now, through their lawyer, since then, the Uganda Railway Corporation had never challenged their occupation until 2021 when they got notices instructing them to vacate the land within a period of thirty days.

The residents, however, recognize that Uganda Railway Corporation has been there as a government project that they can benefit from.

They suggest to the corporation to think of diverting the railway line or look for an alternative route so that they remain on the land that they have developed.

The second option is that if the Uganda Railway Corporation can’t make a diversion and intends to maintain the earlier route, they request that those in the high risk areas be compensated and those that are not in such areas be pardoned and relate with the corporation as lawful occupants.

Another proposal is that if the corporation doesn’t want the plaintiffs on its land, it should consider compensating them because all the development projects on the suit land were established in the face of leaders.

However, the Senior Legal Officers from the Uganda Railway Corporation who preferred anonymity did not conquer with the submissions of the plaintiffs. According to them, President Museveni has directed that they should reclaim all the pieces of land belonging to the corporation across the country, arguing the land in question was acquired by the government more than 100 years ago.

The Legal Officers insisted that the government acquired a land title as early as 1962 that was inherited from the East African Railway and Harbors Corporation.

They therefore maintained their earlier call to the encroachers to leave the land, adding that government does not have money to compensate the affected persons.

Despite their stand, Mr. Leonard Kasereka who represented the Kasese Municipality Member of Parliament at the meeting told the affected persons to remain calm as the legislator continues to engage government so that an amicable solution is reached.



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