Presidential advisor vows to fight Kibiro land grabbers

Kyabarangwa was formerly a grazing and firewood collection land for the indigenous Bakibiro people before it was occupied by strangers displaced by government evictions and floods.

The Presidential Advisor on Oil and Gas, Fred Kabagambe Kaliisa, has vowed to defend his ancestral land from migrants and speculators that have allegedly processed fraudulent land titles alongside flood victims that have illegally settled there.

Mr Kaliisa who is also the current Chairman for the Bakibiro community and the Chairperson for the Royal Commission in Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom has vowed to explore all the legal avenues to see justice prevail.

“I know, nobody is supposed to occupy land anyhow. No matter the situation until it is justified. Kibiro land is owned communally by the Bakibiro people and their rights on land must be protected,” he said.

He adds that they have already surveyed the land and now pending a report that will guide the way forward for whoever will have invaded Bakibiro land.

For those in floods and evictions crises, Mr Kaliisa said they will recognise only those that filled forms of temporary occupation before settling there. Those that will be found having fraudulent land titles will face the law.

Audio: Kaliisa on Kibiro land (Runyoro/Rutooro)

Bakibiro is a traditional sub-division of the Banyoro people who live at Kibiro fishing village of Lake Albert in Kigorobya sub-county in Hoima district.

They host the only local salt mines in the region, the Kibiro hot spring that attracts many tourists and the geothermal energy under exploration that was halted last year following a spillage.

The Bakibiro community plays important cultural roles in Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom as a unique community in the cultural institution.

They are recognised by the kingdom for playing the native trumpets called ‘Amakondere’ with a group currently led by Mr Kiparu. They also historically supply the palace with traditional salt called ‘omunyo gw’ensero’ and fish dried with salt.  

Ms Kiparu in her salt mine garden at Kibiro Village along Lake Mwitanzige (Albert) shoreline in Kigorobya Sub-county, Hoima District.

The fear for Kibiro land grabbing is justified by the presence of more than 2,000 aliens who were led homeless by either the floods or the closure of landing sites government said were illegal and threatening national security and safety.

So far, the Bakibiro claim to have lost access to grazing, firewood collection land because a big part has been occupied by strangers.

They are not even sure of where they are now because some speculators are said to have been facilitated by some district leaders to secure sweeping land titles.

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