Landlord moves to evict tenants to plant palm oil

More than 300 people living on a 220 acre piece of land situated at Siriba, Buvuma town council face eviction from a land lord Anthony Kintu as he seeks palm oil growing.

Government in 2019, after being awarded a USD 210 million grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development intensified quest to grow palm oil in six more districts across the country. The initiative is meant to replicate a 4 P farming model in the country.

The Ministry of Agriculture, through the National Oil Palm Program kicked off the replication phase with Buvuma district, purchased land and engaged out growers to embrace the product.

Several challenges including the grabbing of land and illegal purchases within the area ensured as landlords struggled to sale land to the government in order to pave way for the project.

Now, another landlord, Anthony Kintu has started a process where more than 300 residents on the disputed land will evict all residents in a bid to ensure that he secures land for palm oil growing.

Henry Ndege, the area chairperson blames the Deputy RDC in charge of Buvuma Richard Kigongo and the Buvuma town council chairperson for siding with the land lords in total disregard of the local residents.

“The RDC, each time he comes tells us why we need to move from the area because we own no land here. We have been in the area since 1980. We need to know in whose interest the RDC serves.” He says

Other residents also accuse both leaders recklessly bagging 5 acres of land each from the landlord in order to forcefully evict the residents, a claim Entebbe Post can’t independently verify.

“They need to be investigated. He has registered as a palm oil out grower and wants to forcefully send us away from the suit land without any documentation.” Samuel Mpaata another resident says.

Kintu, an official in the finance Ministry could not be contacted for a comment. The Deputy RDC Richard Kigongo, when contacted in a telephone interview asked for more time to comment on the incident.

Palm oil is a lucrative agricultural business introduced to Kalangala islanders in 2007, with more than 5000 hectares of land on the District’s main island Bugala cultivated by both out growers and the Oil Palm Uganda Limited, an investor trading crude palm oil with Bidco Uganda Limited for the production of refined palm oil products.

At the inception of the project in Kalangala, a lot more people in Mugoye Sub County were deprived of land rights with more than 21 people evicted by a landlord in quest to grow palm oil fruits.

“Most of them are now helpless. The company never bothered to compensate them. Such rights violations should be part of the things that needed to be ironed out before the inception of the Palm Oil project in Buvuma.” Says Richard Kiseera, a land rights lecturer in Kampala

The administration of Buvuma Oil Palm Growers Association says, they are yet to confirm whether the said land has been registered for palm oil growing before a decision is taken.

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