More than 20 residents in Buvuma have raised concerns after the National Oil Palm Project- NOPP started clearing their land without compensation.
The residents are seeking government intervention to ensure that they are paid before the project starts.
Although NOPP plans to secure 6, 500 hectares out of the 10,000 hectares required to operate in Buvuma, residents at Bubanzi in Busamuzi sub-county claim that they have never been paid despite taking them through the valuation and final audit processes.
Agnes Nakamyuka, a resident in the area says that she was told to stop cultivating on her two acres of land. Nakamyuka adds that she was surprised when she saw graders ploughing her land before she is compensated.
“They did every kind of assessment and also took our particulars of ownership promising to pay us but they have now started clearing the land before affecting their promise”
Another resident Peter Mugabe says payments have delayed from the time of evaluation making their land redundant yet they it is his only source living.
“I could use my land to grow coffee, banana and other food crops but I halted farming after I was promised money in the land”
The Bubanzi LCI Chairperson Sebastian Kawuma says that residents are still uncertain when they will be compensated.
However, the Buvuma NOPP Coordinator Gerald Epai says the people complaining signed agreements with the project and accepted that they shall be paid.
“Signing agreement means acceptance to sell, the only remaining process is approval from the auditors for these people to receive their money. The good things they all know what they are going to receive”
Oil palm growing in Buvuma district has faced slow progress due to irregularities raised by residents including delayed compensations and underpayments that discouraged Oil Palm Uganda Ltd-OPUL, a subsidiary of Bidco Uganda to occupy its nucleus estate.