Breaking

Uncertainty Surrounds Proposed Relocation of Busaka Residents

The inland port project had for long suffered from land woes involving 1,285 current occupants and the government. However, the two parties later reached an understanding that the earmarked land close to 500 acres situated in Bukasa in Kira Municipality belonged to the government since it was a gazetted forest.
A sign post erected at Bukasa Town showing the proposed inland port project

Audio 3

The proposed relocation of persons to be affected by the construction of the Bukasa Inland Port is surrounded in uncertainties.

The inland port project had for long suffered land woes involving 1,285 current occupants and the government. However, the two parties later reached an understanding that the earmarked land close to 500 acres situated in Bukasa in Kira Municipality belonged to the government since it was a gazetted forest. 

However, as the ministry of works and transport embarked on the process where each of the projects affected persons is slated to be compensated, residents raised concerns that President Museveni had promised them relocation land. 

John Kaddu, Bukasa-Kirinya LC I Chairperson, says that the matter had been discussed and the President had ordered government chief whip, Ruth Nankabirwa to spearhead the process. 

//cue in: “President yagamba…

cue out…eyabantubaffe eyo.”//  

Nankabirwa accepts to have been directed by the president to look out for land free of encumbrances where the government could later relocate the PAPs to. She, however, adds that her sole role was to look for land which she did in Kiboga and Kyankwazi districts.

//cue in: “Me when I…

cue out…the would have chosen.”//

Vincent Byendaimira, the acting Permanent Secretary says that since he is just in a caretaking role he was not in a position to get answers on the matter. Byendaimira notes that if there is any intention for the government to relocate occupants it must be based on several reports including the Resettlement Action Plan-RAP with several consultancies from the affected persons. He adds that after the plan is laid down and PAPs have agreed to relocate to a given area then execution is done.

//Cue in: “Actually three ways…

Cue out…very comprehensive study.”//

However, the Ministry of Works Spokesperson Suzan Kataike insists that within their RAP, they did not budget for relocating residents give the fact that they all agreed that they had illegally settled on the land in question.

“By compensating for their property, government was generous enough. Now, after knowing that they are going to receive compensation monies they now taking us back to issues that were discussed and concluded,” Kataike told Uganda Radio Network. 

She adds that the works ministry is currently verifying all PAPs as well as receiving a complaint from those who think that they were undervalued. “They will all get their payment before the project kicks off. recently the State-House Anti-Corruption Unit also joined us (the ministry) just to ensure that the due process is being followed,” she added.

The inland project, which is now behind schedule, is expected to reduce transport costs and expedite distribution and movement of goods along the central and northern corridors. The port is expected to a capacity of 5.2 million tons and a maximum peak of 7.5 million tons upon completion.