Home Government UPDF to Assess Land for Masaka Airstrip and Training Base

UPDF to Assess Land for Masaka Airstrip and Training Base

updf to assess land for masaka airstrip and training base
updf to assess land for masaka airstrip and training base
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The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) will conduct a new evaluation of land containing a military training base and airfield in Bukakkata Sub-county, Masaka District. The 12-square mile land, encompassing Mikala Island and four villages (Kisasa, Kiggo, Bbaale, and Bukaayi), currently accommodates over 380 residents.

To address this situation, Mr. Ibrahim Ssekitto, spokesperson of Masaka-based Armoured Brigade Barracks – Kasijjagirwa, mentioned that all current occupants of the army land will receive compensation to support their resettlement on alternative land. This decision follows a previous valuation exercise conducted by the government in 2015 when the army initially announced its intention to reclaim the land. Nevertheless, Mr. Ssekitto clarified that updated land values would be used this time, as land prices have changed since 2015 when the government proposed paying Shs5 million per acre.

Mr. Ssekitto explained, “We will conduct a new land survey before proceeding with the valuation. Subsequently, the government will determine compensation based on the current market price of the occupied land.” This development eases concerns among the squatters, who feared eviction without appropriate compensation.

During a recent meeting with affected residents and local leaders, residents expressed their concerns, emphasizing their deep connections to the land. Mr. John Mubiru, an affected resident in Kiggo Village, mentioned, “My grandfathers are buried on this land, and if I am to leave, I have to be given fair compensation to relocate their remains and my family to a new place.”

Mr. Peter Ssenkungu, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) chairperson for Masaka District, urged the army to first inform residents about the project’s benefits before proceeding with evictions. He stressed the need for the Uganda Land Commission to engage with the affected communities and explain the reasons behind the land acquisition.

Bukoto East Member of Parliament Evan Kanyike assured that leaders would work to ensure fair compensation for affected residents. This marks the second attempt by the army to reclaim the land, following resistance in 2015 due to concerns that the government’s proposed Shs5 million per acre compensation was insufficient for relocation.

Government asserts that the affected villages are situated on land that formerly served as a military base and airstrip during President Idi Amin’s regime. Article 237 (1&2) of the Ugandan Constitution stipulates that all land belongs to citizens but may be acquired by the central government or districts in the public interest as determined by Parliament. It also holds certain natural resources in public trust for the common good of all citizens.