Frustration as govt resettlement plans in Sebei stall

Frustration as govt resettlement plans in Sebei stall
Frustration as govt resettlement plans in Sebei stall

Africa-Press – Uganda. The government is yet to resettle the displaced people from Sebei Sub-region as promised by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in March.

In March, the State minister for Lands, Dr Sam Mayanja, in an interview with Daily Monitor indicated that the resettlement of people from Sebei would start the following month (April).

During a press conference organised by the National Economic Empowerment Dialogue (NEED), a pressure group led by Mr Joseph Kabuleta, leaders from Sebei lamented about this unfulfilled promise by the government.

“The people of Sebei are suffering, our ancestral land has been grabbed and people have nowhere to stay. Instead, the land is being illegally sold despite the promise to resettle the indigenous owners of the land,” the chairperson of the Sabiny Youth Land Claimants Association, Mr Tom Chesang, said.

Mr Kabuleta, also a former presidential candidate, claimed that the government doesn’t want to resettle the people because they have an interest in the land.

“These people (government) create a scenario of insecurity, so that people run in fear of their lives, leaving the land behind. My major issue is why the government doesn’t at least compensate these people for their land other than just displacing them,” he said.

Mr Chesang said there are more than 20,000 people living in internally displaced peoples camps (IDP) yet they have ancestral land in Sebei.

“In 2015, the Office of the Prime Minister cancelled all land titles and now they are the ones taking over the land, leaving more than 20,000 landless people in Kapchorwa and all our leaders have been compromised. Not only don’t we have a place to live but also there are high levels of unemployment in that region,” he said.

Mr Chesang also indicated that there are only five camps currently in the region each accommodating about 1,000 people, and this is where the problem of congestion arises.

After several protests and petitions by the people in Sebei, Minister Mayanja called for a meeting on March 14 where it was agreed that the resettlement process would begin in 10 days.

According to Mr Chesang, none of this has happened so far and no attempts or signs of progress can be seen in the area.

“Even if you go to Sebei right now, you will find the camps there and people still living in them. Until now the 10 days elapsed but nothing was done, we demand immediate resettlement,” Mr Chesang said.

Efforts to reach the ministry of Lands to find out what is stalling this process were futile by press time.

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