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Buvuma Land 

Meeting: Residents of Nkuusi Village in Busamuza Sub-county, Buvuma District, meet officials from Vegetable Oil Development Project recently

Buvuma. About 5,000 residents in the Island district of Buvuma have rejected a government proposal to compensate them for their land to pave way for oil palm growing, claiming their property was undervalued. This comes after government unveiled a programme for the relocation and resettlement of the affected people late last year.

Residents led by Mr Mohammed Ssengooba said they will not hand over their pieces of land to Buvuma palm oil project managers until they are given fair compensation. The oil project is a component of the Vegetable Oil Development Project (VODP) under the Ministry of Agriculture. The affected residents, mainly bibanja (plots) holders, are in Busamuzi Sub-county and some parts of Buvuma Town Council.

“The project coordinators and valuers cheated us, they undervalued our property and they did not compensate us for the bibanja,” Mr Ssengooba said during a recent consultative meeting at Nkuusi Village in Busamizi. 

East African nations that are en-route to banning the importation of used clothes may soon pay the price after Washington said it will impose trade penalties in retaliation to what it sees as a blockage of free trade.

The US State Department’s Harry Sullivan, the Africa Bureau acting head of the economic and regional affairs, said Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda have until next week to reverse the decision or face the penalties.

The East African leaders are expected to meet at the EAC Heads of State Summit on Infrastructure and Health Financing and Development in Kampala, Uganda on February 23. “I believe the results of the meeting next week will determine how we proceed,” Mr Sullivan said in a conference call with reporters.

East African Community (EAC) member states agreed two years ago to impose phased ban on used clothing imports (known as mitumba) over a three-year period beginning 2019.

Kenya subsequently withdrew from that agreement following US threats to end its eligibility for duty-free clothing exports to the US market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).