Residents of Karusadara Sub County in Kasese district are accusing the government of dishonesty.
They say that oftentimes, the government hoodwinks them with empty promises, especially during campaigns, and never returns to fulfil them after the political season. As the residents prepare for a by-election in Busongora South Constituency, they are now demanding that the government fulfill its promises to them before August 18.
Area residents say that they have been demanding a land title for the 11,475 acres of land they are occupying; protection from wild animals that escape from the Queen Elizabeth National Park; and rehabilitation of their major roads since 1994, but in vain.
Robert Bitariho, the Chairperson of Kabaka Village, told URN that residents in the area fear establishing major development projects because they are uncertain about their stay on the land. He added that it is strange that the issue of land titles has for the last two years only been given attention during political campaigns.
The residents were speaking during a meeting with Lands Minister Judith Nabakoba in Kasese on Thursday. However, Juma Munezero, a member of the Alliance for National Transformation-ANT, questioned the timing of the minister’s visit, adding that it could be one of the antics of the NRM to excite them ahead of the by-election in Busongora South.
Samusu Kasujja, a resident of Kabaka village, is now championing a campaign named “no title, no vote”, saying that they are tired of leaders who come to only make promises about giving them titles and then dodge them once they are voted into office. Kasujja accused the government of failing to handle the effects caused by floods in 2020 and extending an electric fence in the area that has left them less productive.
James Munyansi, a resident of Busingye village, questioned why their issues have been neglected for so long, yet every minister that visits the area claims to have been sent by the President to provide solutions. He says that their participation in the by-election will only be determined by the government’s commitment to give them land titles before the voting day.
Charles John Mukiiza, the sub-county chairperson, says that the NRM is likely to lose its support base in Kasese if the land matters are not solved amicably. He says the pressure from the community is overwhelming.
However, Nabakoba told residents that the mother title for the sub-county will be created before the end of this month under the name of Uganda Land Commission-ULC and will be followed by the systematic demarcation process to enable individuals to process their titles. S
Nabakoba agreed that there is a lack of commitment by some individuals in the government which regularly affects the fulfilment of certain pledges made by both the government and the President.
The Karusandara sub-county has a population of 25,000 people who started occupying the area in the 1960’s. The sub-county was carved out of Mubuku prisons and the Mubuku Irrigation Scheme. Since 1994, people settling on the land have been demanding titles. In 2012, President Yoweri Museveni pledged on behalf of the government to relinquish government interest in the same land in favour of the locals.
According to the survey conducted in 1998 by the Uganda Land Commission and plotted as Bunyangabo block 102 plot 1, the sub-county has 8,430 acres.