Chairman, Hoima Sugar agree to allow crop harvesting on Bugoma disputed land

The Nyairongo Village Chairman, Mr Desire Nkurunziza, has agreed with Hoima Sugar Limited to allow farmers to harvest their crops without fear of eviction or malicious damage.

The consent agreement of the two parties seen byKazi-njema Newsis dated June 7, 2022, and written on a headed paper of the office of the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner (RDC).

In the document Mr Nkurunziza, who in the agreement claims to represent the 109 farmers from the Nyairongo village parts of Rwenkobe, Rwembaaho Nyambago, Kabeegaramire and Karokarungi confesses that the farmers encroached on the land belonging to Hoima Sugar Limited.

The parties consent that all the farmers must have harvested their crops before the end of August 2022 which will mark the end of their activities on that land or else face the consequences of trespassing.

 The crops include maize, beans, potatoes and millet.

The agreement is witnessed by the Kikuube RDC, Mr Amlan Tumusiime; the Buhaguzi County Member of Parliament, Mr Francis Kazini; Mr Christopher Nkalu – the Kikuube District Council Speaker and Ms Risah Kwikiriza – the district councillor.

The signature for Hoima Sugar Limited representative Mr G. Suresh lies below all witness.

It is not yet clear whether all the farmers who claim rights on that land and were affected by the latest evictions subscribe to all ideas in Mr Nkurunziza’s consent agreement in which he [Nkurunziza] stands as surety.

Background

While speaking on Spice FM radio in Hoima city last week, Mr Hassan Mugyenyi, the Chairperson for Save Bugoma Forest Campaign (SBFC) – Local Chapter, claimed that more than 400 acres of crop have been destroyed by graders that advance from the Hoima Sugar Limited controlled areas, the allegations dismissed by the investor.

According to him, the farmers were incubating a legal action against security officials who evicted them and the investor.

Kazi-njema News last week watched a video circulating on social media showing graders clearing flowering maize and mature banana crops adjacent to a sugarcane plantation.

Mr Mugyenyi claimed they were in the gardens of Nyairongo farmers on the disputed Bugoma forest land.

Kikuube district leaders remain split over any eviction of people from the disputed parts of Bugoma forest until the boundaries are reopened to establish who owns what between Hoima Sugar Limited, Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, National Forestry Authority (NFA) for Bugoma Central Forest Reserve and the neighbouring communities.

The Kikuube District Vice Chairman, Mr Vincent Alpha Opio, is among those preferring boundary opening ahead of any evictions and conditions.

The boundary opening exercise led by the Ministry for Lands, Housing and Urban Development has thrice aborted under unclear circumstances since late 2020.

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