Leaders in Isingiro District have contested the way in which they claim the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is evicting residents.

NEMA last week began an eviction exercise in the 200-meter protection zone around Lake Nakivale in Isingiro, in an effort to restore the lake. But the residents said there was unfairness in the way they were being evicted, claiming that they were being assaulted and their properties destroyed by police.

They also claim that the evictions are done beyond the 200 metres. “We are concerned as leaders because we were not involved in the exercise. As the district council, we resolved that they use surveyors and involve the local leadership during this eviction exercise, but that has not been done, so the whole process is unfair,’’ said Mr Joseph Kiiza, the district works secretary, who also heads the natural resource docket.

Mr Kiiza was arrested on Thursday afternoon by police as he went to assess and verify if the resident’s allegations are true. At Nakivale Police Post where he was detained, he told the press that he went with a tape measure to verify the residents’ claims, only to see gun-wielding police arresting him.

Beyond 200 metres
He, however, said he had measured part of the contested lands and some of them were beyond the agreed 200 meters. Isingiro District Police Commander Keneth Muhairwe said Mr Kiiza was arrested on charges of inciting violence. The affected villages are Kendobo, Bushenga, Ngarama, Kashumba, Rugaaga, Rushasha and part of Isingiro Town Council.