Tuesday, 17 July 2012
RWEHINGO FARMERS MAY WAIT FOR SOME TIME
Cultivators on the disputed Rwehingo land in Kasese district may take long to takeover there land as ordered by court because the commissioner of surveys is yet to open the boundaries.
According to the Inspector General of Police Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura, it was wrong for the Kasese district Chairman to lead the farmers to the land before all the procedures following the court ruling are finalized.
Ten people sustained injuries when Basongora clashed with Bakonzo as the former descended on the 2050 acre land to prepare for the new cultivation season.
High court sitting in Fort Portal early May ruled in favour of the 284 cultivators who had sued government for giving out their land to Basongora who were repatriated from Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006.
High Court judge Owiny Dolo ordered the commissioner of surveys to open the Lokeris line as the recognized boundary between the land occupied by the Basongora and that for the cultivators.
He also awarded twelve million shillings as punitive and general damages to each of the 284 cultivators in relation to the suit and wasted seasons.
According to Kayihura, the farmers were not supposed to repossess the land before a court order is issued to the Basongora who were basing on government defense over the case to take the land.
He said that Basongora elders told him they have never seen the court judgment and neither did they receive a government official to brief them.
When asked, the cultivators lawyer Chan Masereka said Justice Owiny Dolo had not yet signed the court order after he was transferred to the anti-terrorism section of the high court.
The IGP has ordered that no one should use the land before the commissioner of surveys opens the boundaries as ordered by court.
Kasese district chairman Lt. Col.Mawa Muhindo was reportedly asked to apologize for leading the farmers to start digging the land without following the legal procedures, which he did.
Kayihura has been in the district for the second time this month to attend on the conflict between Bakonzo and Basongora following the installation of Busongora King Rwigi IV Ivan Bwebale.