Tuesday, January 17th, 2023 | By
During our phone conversation, Jelous Mugisa Mulimba sounded disgruntled and exhausted but not ready to give up on fighting for adequate compensation.
“Let government take that cash compensation forever, I want a house not money!” he repeatedly emphasized as he hung up on phone.
Mulimba, 50, a family head of nine people is among seven people that are battling a court case for allegedly sabotaging a government project after they protested against inadequate compensation of their land.
His land is part of a 772-acre piece of land that was acquired by government in 2017 to host an Oil Central Processing Facility currently under construction in Kasinyi village, Ngwedo Sub County in Buliisa district.
“I opted for land compensation but to my surprise during disclosure to know the value of property affected by the project, I was told that I was to take cash compensation,” he said. “I dint understand why government was forcing me to take what I dint ask for. I and my wife insisted that we are not taking cash,” he added.
Mulimba said that he was then summoned to court in Masindi by the Attorney General.
The Attoney General wanted government to deposit their compensation money in court and allow the project to proceed.
“The members of our family accepted the compensation of the family land measuring 13 acres with each at 3.5 million shillings and disturbance allowance of 30 percent but for me I refused,” he explained.
According to Mugisha, on 30th April 2021, he and other respondents lost the case. He noted that with assistance of some NGO, they appealed but the case has never been heard.
“Since then, the case has not been heard. The NGO that took over our case tells us that they refused to fix the date for hearing. We are stuck but we have not given up,” noted Mulimba.
Mulimba said he is currently faced by threats and intimidation from government officials who think he is sabotaging government programs. However, Mulimba says he is not ready to give up on fighting for his rights.
“I want to leave a legacy for my children. They will live to know that I fought for their rights. I will not take that money. Let government take in if it wants,” he said.