Uganda Police Force has started investigating into the matter where over 200 residents of Awoo village and Karuma town board in Kiryandongo district claim to have not been compensated for the loss of their land to 600MW Karuma Hydro Power dam that is under construction.
Led by Gadafi Arafat Ocira, residents filed their complaints at CIID headquarters Kibuli in Kampala under case file GEF/817/2015. Residents claim that, government has never compensated for their land and over 30 households that were meant to be relocated to Zambia parish, Kamdin Sub County in Oyam district are still stuck.
Residents state that, since 2009 when their land was valued and expected compensation before construction of Karuma Hydro Power dam began, however to date some of them have never got anything while others received partial payments.
Ocira, the leader of disgruntled residents revealed that, since 2009 they tabled their issue to the state minister of Energy and mineral development, Simon D’Junga and his boss minister Irene Moloni and little was done to have their matter solved.
He disclosed that it was until when they stormed the office of IGP, General Kale Kaihura who referred them to CIID boss Grace Akulu who again redirected the matter to Kiryandongo police station.
When contacted, the police officer in charge of land protection in Kiryandongo district, Christopher Ojera confirmed that they were investigating claims raised by the residents.He promised to record statements from all affected people but challenged them to produce sale of land agreements.
Some of the residents like Francis L Odoch Okech 57, who had 4.8 acres of land in the area said that he has received shs1.25 million implying an acre was valued at shs300,000, the amount he says is too small. He wants government to pay him shs150m or else his land is surrendered back to his family.
Another resident called Charles Obedgiu 47 said that, out of seven acres of land his family had, they were given only shs11 million which can’t be used to purchase the same size of land elsewhere and they have therefore decided to lodge a fresh claim for shs210 million.