In Kikuube, Kenya, more than 1,000 people who were evicted from their ancestral land haven’t been given new homes yet.
Residents of Kikuube have been camping outside the office of the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner-RDC for the last two months. They want to be moved back to their land as soon as possible.
They were evicted from Bukinda A and B, Bukinda 2, Kavule, Bwizibwera A and B, Kyeya A and B, Nyaruhanga, Kabirizi, Nyamigisa A and B, and Katoma villages, among others in Kasonga parish, Kyangwali sub-county. The residents are feuding with the Kyangwali Refugee Settlement Centre over 36 square kilometers of land.
In September 2013, OPM officials, the police, and UPDF evicted more than 60,000 people from the contested land and resettled Congolese refugees on the land. The residents were forced to settle in camps in Kyeya village in Kyangwali sub-county under very poor conditions, where they have stayed to date.
In 2018, President Museveni ordered that the evicted residents be resettled on their land and directed the Office of the Prime Minister and that of Disaster to spearhead the move, but to date, nothing has been done.
Alice Nyinarukundo, 60, says that even though the president told them to move back to their land, they are still having problems.
Another affected person wants the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness, and Refugees, Hillary Onek, to explain why the resettlement has been delayed.
John Ankampulira says that the untold suffering they are experiencing is due to delays in resettling them on their land.
Nestory Tumwesige, the Kyagwali Sub County LCV Councilor, says that food relief meant for the displaced people was sent to the Kyangwali refugee settlement, leaving the people who were there to go hungry.
However, Onek insists that the government genuinely acquired the land. He said that if the evictees are not content, they should go to court and challenge the government. According to Onek, some people have acquired fake land titles.
Last month, he declined to meet the evicted residents after he received information that the evicted residents were mobilized to undress before him and attack him should he appear before them.
During his work to find a solution and build peace in the area, the minister said two members of Parliament were planning to attack him while he was doing his job.