The family of David Bankirirahakye in Mbarara District, which has been wrangling with about 500 residents over a 452-acre piece of land, has agreed to President Museveni’s compensation proposal.
The development ends a land wrangle that has lasted close to 40 years.
Mr Museveni on Thursday held a meeting with the affected residents and Bankirirahakye’s widow at Kaguhangire church of Uganda in Kashari county where he announced that a consensus had been reached over the matter.
“You should accept my help so that you can live happily together because Bankirirahakye’s family bought land that had issues and a problem came as poor governance of those days but even today some people do the same mistake,” he said.
“We are going to share together this land equally without favouring one side. I want you to tell me if you accept my decision that locals of this place should not be chased away from the land and also locals should not ran after Bankirirahakye’s family because they bought the land’’ he added.
The President went on to explain to the stakeholders that as a young man who lived and grazed cattle in the area, he fully understood the origin of the conflict which he said was caused by poor leadership under the past governments.
The Bankirirahakye family claims to have bought the land in the 1970s and in 2016, the High Court returned the land to them and ordered the eviction of the existing families. However, the over 80 families appealed the court decision and have since refused to vacate.
“I have been hearing of a problem here which I knew very well because in 1960 we migrated from Ntungamo to Rwabugondo just behind here and I used to graze in the hill you are fighting for. In 1960 there were some locals here and in 1967 I shifted to Rwakitura. I want to tell you that there is no way one person could take the whole of this land when there are all these people’’ Mr Museveni said.
The President said he would compensate the Bankirirahakye family.
“Now that you have accepted my decision, the RDC will come here, you move with him to the hill and demarcate the land according to how we have agreed so that the community takes its part and the family of late Bankirirahakye’’ Mr Museveni Resolves 40-Year-Old Land Wrangle In Mbararaadded.
‘’I will compensate family of Bankirirahakye so you leave them for me because now that I have known her (widow to late Bankirirahakye), she is mine. I will handle her myself.”
In September the commission of Inquiry into land matters led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire visited the contested land and met the affected people at Kaguhanzya church of Uganda but the two sides could not come to agreement.