Hoima residents threaten demonstrations during Museveni, Magufuli visit

Families in Kabaale- Buseruka, Hoima District, whose land was acquired by government for the construction of an oil refinery have said they will hold a peaceful demonstration on October 19, when President Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart visit the area.

Through their umbrella Oil Refinery Residents Association (ORRA), the residents informed the Inspector General of Police that they will assemble and demonstrate in towns, streets and other areas of Hoima and will present a petition to the president thereafter.

“Our protest, which will take place in Hoima district and will be participated in by over 200 people, will coincide with the visit of the presidents of Uganda –H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni- and Tanzania –H.E. John Pombe Magufuli- to Hoima. We also intend to petition the president of Uganda on the same day,” a letter from the ORRA chairperson, Mr. Innocent Tumwebaze reads in part.

“We would like to inform you that as the refinery-affected people, we shall assemble and demonstrate in towns, streets and other areas of Hoima and will present our petition to the president thereafter. Our actions will be a peaceful reminder to our good presidents of the need to ensure that the development of oil through refineries and oil pipelines among other infrastructure should not happen at the expense of human rights to prompt, fair and adequate compensation to project-affected people,” the letter continues.

The group claims that since government acquired their land with a cut-off date of June 2, 2012, they have suffered grave injustices that no other government in the world can allow her citizens to go through.

They cite among others; Displacement of women and girls including widows, orphans and vulnerable groups without any framework to ensure sustainable livelihoods and protect their dignity, placing a cut-off date on the affected people’s land thus denying them a right to use such land to feed their families, failure to restore their social and economic livelihoods in the planned resettlement at Kyakaboga and failure to respect our social fabric and cultural lifestyles in the resettlement process.

They also claim that NGOs and association’s leaders who are working to protect their rights have been threatened and some arrested, hence the demonstrations and petition will help them bring catch the attention of president Museveni for immediate action.

However, State House had earlier indicated that President Museveni’s program to Hoima was tentative expecting it to be postponed to the end of the month.

Last month, President Museveni started radio campaigns on the contentious Land Amendment Bill and related land matters

The amendment proposes that where the owner of property or any person having interest in or right over property objects to the compensation awarded under the law made under clause (2)(b), the government or local government shall deposit with court for the property owner or any person having an interest in or right over the property, the compensation awarded for the property, and the government or local government shall take possession of the property pending determination by the court of any dispute relating to compensation.

The proposed amendment had attracted widespread condemnation from the public, including religious leaders and civil society organisations among others.

 

 

 

 

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