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Mbale Residents Accuse UWA of Encroachment

The residents of Bubyangu, Budwale, Wanale and Busano sub-counties on Friday stormed Mbale District headquarters to raise their grievances over the recent UWA land demarcation.
02 Aug 2019 18:59

Audio 4

Residents in four sub-counties neighbouring Mount Elgon National Park in Mbale District are protesting against the alleged encroachment on their land by Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA.

     

The residents of Bubyangu, Budwale, Wanale and Busano sub-counties on Friday stormed Mbale District headquarters to raise their grievances.

Badru Mafabi, a resident of Bubyangu Sub County says that officials from UWA planted mark stones in their land on Wednesday and the district leaders have remained silent.

Swaliki Nambiwo, from Wanale Sub County, said that during the planting of mark stones, their crops which include cassava, Irish potatoes, cabbage among others were destroyed. 

//Cue in Pillars zaka ku…      

Cue out:…kuyanga”//   

Abudala Magidu Busito, the LCIII chairperson of Bubyangu Sub County says that over 5,000 homes have been curved into the National Park during the demarcation by UWA.

  //Cue in kwezele ano…   

Cue out:… kudabusa mupalamenti”//      

Nandudu Sarah, another resident alleges that UWA is planning to take over their land under the disguise of boundary marking.    

Muhammad Mafabi, the Mbale district speaker and district councillor representing Bubyangu Sub County blamed UWA of the re-gazetting exercise without involving local leaders.      

//Cue in what we found…  

Cue out:… on this matter// 

Bernard Mujasi, Mbale LCV Chairman said UWA should go back to resolutions of the agreed boundary of 1993 and stop encroaching on people’s land.   

//Cue in bali ku pima… 

Cue out…tufiila wano”//  

Fredrick Kizza, the Manager Mount Elgon Conservation Area said that UWA was operating lawfully by demarcating the boundaries of the park.   

“In this country, we have laws which we should follow, we should not just imagine things because your grandfather once lived there, the people should respect the gazetted boundary as reopened in 2017,” Kizza says.   

Kizza also says that the boundaries of the park were supposed to be re-opened in 2017 but they were failed by politicians.   

There have been several clashes between the residents living near the park and the UWA officials, leading to loss of lives.

In 2013, John Gimei, a resident of Bumasifwa sub-county was shot dead by park rangers when he went into the park in search for herbs.

The following year, about 15 gunmen raided the UWA camp on Mt Elgon National Game Park, killed three rangers and made away with their guns.

In October 2016, residents of Bunamoli parish in Bubyangu Sub County, Mbale district invaded Mt Elgon National Park to repossess chunks of agricultural land, which they claimed belonged to them.           



       

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