Uganda: NGOs appeal for speedy resolution of court case where locals are seeking compensation after eviction for oil waste facility

Author: Edward Ssekika, The Observer (Uganda), Published on: 26 April 2016

"Oil: Rwamutonga residents want Shs 64bn over eviction"

Residents of Rwamutonga village in Bugambe sub-County, Hoima district, who were in August 2014 evicted from the area, are demanding for Shs 64bn in compensation, saying they wereevicted unlawfully. In October last year, the high court in Masindi ruled that their eviction was unlawful and accordingly awarded them damages and costs for the suit. Simon Byabakama, the then resident judge of Masindi, ruled that the court order upon which the locals were evicted had been issued in error. “The eviction was unlawful and should never have happened in the first place because at the time of the execution of the warrant of vacant possession, there was an on-going suit to determine the true ownership of the disputed land,” Byabakama ruled. Byabakama, however, declined to restore the evicted residents to the land until the main suit over the true ownership of the disputed land had been heard and disposed off. The evicted residents sued Tibagwa and Robert Basingaroho, the alleged land owners, seeking, in addition to an order of unlawful eviction, that the disputed piece of land was registered fraudulently...

The families were evicted after the alleged owner of the land, Joshua Tibagwa, leased it to McAlester, an American-based waste management firm, to set up an oil waste treatment plant. Tibagwa maintains that he owns the disputed land and has often described the evicted residents as “encroachers.”..Civil society organisations are appealing to court to expeditiously resolve the dispute such that the evicted people can either be restored back on their land and live normal lives or know their fate.

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Related companies: McAlester Energy Resources