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2,000 left homeless as Prisons evict residents

By: YASIN Mugerwa

NAKAPIRIPIRIT: Prisons authorities have destroyed several homes and gardens in a disputed eviction exercise in Nakapiripirit District that has left more than 2,000 residents including women and children homeless and hungry.

The eviction according to area MP, Ms Rose Eriama, started last week even after the Commissioner General for Prisons, Dr John Byabashaija, assured the residents that the process will be followed up. The MP said after the residents surrendered their guns in the disarmament process, the government is now coming for their land.

“They duped our people; after burning their houses; they are now homeless with nothing to eat, they are sleeping on main roads as if they are refugees,” Ms Eriama told the Daily Monitor at the weekend. “How can a government our people voted by 93.3 per cent in the previous elections treat residents like foreigners?” she asked. “Our people should have been given time and before the eviction they should have resettled them in another area as the law requires but they ignored all this and evicted them with impunity. This is unacceptable and we call upon the president to intervene before our people especially the women and children die of hunger.”

While Dr Byabashaija was not readily available to comment on the latest development in Nakapiripirit, when he visited Namalu last month, he held a meeting with residents of Nabore and Nakuyon villages in Kaiku Parish, Namalu Sub-country and told them that prisons needed to institute a framework of co-existence with its neighbours before evicting the families.

Dr Byabashaija told the residents that “prisons require peaceful co-existence not clashes with its neighbours who should equally benefit from the departments activities.” Dr Byabashaija added what were required are negotiations with the community not harassment.

However, the NRM chairman for Nakapiripiriti District, Mr Joseph Yoyo, said prisons lied to the people. He accused prison authorities of grabbing people’s land, adding that they were using inmates to destroy their gardens and central settlements called manyata or ere, where women normally look over small farms and raise the young children.

Mr Richard Lochoto, the councillor for Namalu, told the Daily Monitor over 300 households were affected and asked the government to help the people. He said the residents had occupied a section of 3,750 acres of land for decades and evicting them was a violation of their rights.

Source: Daily Monitor

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