More than 10,000 families in six villages in Kigorobya sub-county in Hoima district are on the verge of being evicted forcefully from their ancestral land. The affected families are from Kigomba, Kyamucumba, Kalyambuzi, Kyataruga, Kamugembe 1 and Kyamugembe 2 villages.
The residents are feuding with Edgar Agaba, a prominent businessman in Hoima city who is said to have illegally acquired a title for the contested land measuring about 438 hectares. The affected residents say they learnt about Agaba’s land title two months back when the leadership of Kamugembe Church of Uganda, which also seats on the land wanted to title its land.
However, the church leaders discovered that the church land together with that of the six villages was already titled by Agaba who claims to have acquired his title in 2005. Vicente Ntegeka, one of the affected residents told Uganda Radio Network that Agaba has a title for the land in the neighbouring Kyabusagazi and Hanga villages but wants to use it to forcefully grab their land.
Christopher Kirisi, 60, who was born in Kigomba village, one of the affected villages is wondering how Agaba acquired a land title on their ancestral land.
Kate Businge, another resident says they are ready to defend their land from being grabbed by Agaba. She wants the Minister of Lands to come on the ground and address the issue immediately.
When contacted, Agaba feigned about the said titles.
David Karubanga, the Kigorobya County Member of Parliament who also doubles as the State Public Service Minister told the aggrieved residents that he will join hands with them to follow up the matter with the Lands Ministry.
This is not the first time Agaba is being implicated in land grabbing in Kigorobya sub-county. In February 2019, Agaba was accused of grabbing 485 acres of land from residents of Kyabisagazi 1 and Kyabisagazi 2 villages in Kyabisagazi parish in Kigorobya sub-county. Agaba with the help of security teams comprising the army and police brutally and forcefully evicted over 500 families and torched their houses. Four toddlers were killed by security personnel during the brutal eviction exercise.
The toddlers were identified as Samuel Owuuchi, Stephen Ondizi, Rogers Jalwing and Samuel Awungi. The brutal eviction compelled the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga to constitute a select committee of Parliament on March 6th, 2019 to investigate the matter after it was brought to the attention of the house by the Ora County Member of Parliament, Lawrence Biyika Songa.
The select committee operated under six terms of reference including studying all claims of ownership on the disputed land, investigating allegations relating to identity and status of persons evicted, examining the involvement and conduct of security officers in the eviction of families.
The select committee was chaired by the Bukholi North MP, Gaster Mugoya Kyawa. The other committee members were Budaka Woman MP, Pamela Kamoga Naiso, Makindye East MP, Ibrahim Kasozi Biribawa, Bududa Woman MP, Justine Khainza, the then UPDF representative in Parliament, Brig. Flavia Byekwaso, Oyam Woman MP Santa Alum and Busiki County MP, Paul Akamba. However, the committee findings have never been made public.