Mr Peter Lokeris, the State Minister for Energy and Mineral Development handed over the 127 certificates of land title to the affected persons. This happened in Kyakaboga Village, Buseruka Sub-county, last Thursday.
The government in 2012 obtained 29 square kilometres of land gazetted for the construction of the oil refinery in 13 villages in Kabaale parish. This however displaced over 7000 people.
Part of that population settled in Kyakaboga where the government had acquired land and constructed permanent houses. However, other settlers opted for in-kind compensation, and others settled for money.
Mr Lokeris said the titles should give the project-affected persons a sense of security as genuine landowners.
‘‘The processed titles are a guarantee to the project-affected persons to genuinely own their land without interference. The handover of the titles is yet another key achievement made in the implementation of the Refinery Resettlement Action Plan,” he said.
Furthermore, he expressed concern for those who misused the money they received after opting for cash compensation. Mr Honey Malinga, the acting head of the Directorate of Petroleum in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, said six project-affected persons did not get their land titles because of lack of national identification cards.
‘‘Every individual has received two freehold titles; one for the farmland and the other for plots where their houses are located. The other six did not get titles because they had no national identification cards,’’ Mr Malinga said.
It should be noted that the land titles are meant to protect the residents from land grabbers.
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