Ugandan Minister Claims Strategic Land Acquisition Inflates Road Construction Costs

Ugandan minister alleges strategic land purchases inflate road construction costs, highlighting corruption and land rights issues in infrastructure projects. Court orders eviction and compensation for activist over disputed land.

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Israel Ojoko
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Ugandan Minister Claims Strategic Land Acquisition Inflates Road Construction Costs

Ugandan Minister Claims Strategic Land Acquisition Inflates Road Construction Costs

Ugandan Minister Hon. Kyeyune has alleged that compensation costs for road construction projects in the country frequently surpass the actual expenses due to strategic land purchases by well-informed individuals along planned routes. According to the minister, this practice has resulted in inflated costs and the inefficient use of public funds earmarked for infrastructure development.

Kyeyune's statements emphasize the need for increased transparency and accountability in the land acquisition process for public projects. The goal is to ensure that taxpayer money is utilized effectively and local communities are not taken advantage of.

Why this matters: The minister's claims highlight potential corruption and misuse of public funds in Uganda's infrastructure projects. Addressing these issues is essential for the efficient development of the country's road network and the fair treatment of affected communities.

The High Court in Soroti recently ordered the eviction of the Serere District Local Government from a 150-acre disputed land belonging to human rights activist Moses Omiat. The court ordered the district government had previously declared Omiat the rightful customary owner of the land located in Kasilo Village, Kamod Parish, Bugondo Sub-county in Serere District.

In addition to the eviction, the court ordered Serere District Local Government and four others to compensate Omiat with 200 million Ugandan shillings for illegally encroaching on his land. The local government was also instructed to pay Omiat 70 million shillings for cutting his valuable trees on the land, which were used to make charcoal and bricks. The court awarded Omiat an additional 50 million shillings in exemplary damages and issued a permanent injunction against the Serere District Local Government from setting foot on Omiat's land.

Despite the court orders, Omiat claims that his trees continue to be cut for charcoal and bricks, and his people residing on the land have been attacked, with their houses torched.

Minister Kyeyune's allegations and the case of Moses Omiat illustrate the challenges surrounding land rights and the implementation of public infrastructure projects in Uganda. As Kyeyune stated, "The compensation costs for road construction projects in Uganda often exceed the actual expenses due to strategic land acquisition by informed individuals along the planned routes." Addressing these issues will require a concerted effort to improve transparency, protect the rights of landowners, and ensure the responsible use of public funds.

Key Takeaways

  • Ugandan minister alleges compensation costs for road projects exceed actual expenses.
  • Inflated costs due to strategic land purchases by informed individuals along routes.
  • Court orders eviction of local govt from disputed 150-acre land, compensation to owner.
  • Ongoing issues with land rights and implementation of public infrastructure projects.
  • Need for transparency, protecting landowners, and responsible use of public funds.