By Sabir Musa
A family along school road in Arua Central Division was on Monday evicted by Arua City Council to pave way for the ongoing road construction.
This is one of the 16 families affected by the 18 billion shilling road project financed through Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructural Development – USMID.
By 8am, a team led by the Building Control Officer at Arua City Council backed-by Uganda Police arrived at this home and directed occupants to leave the house before process to demolish started.
Mr. Taban Musa, the Care Taker at this home narrates that, they were not informed by the council to demolish the building. He says, officials from the council arrived early morning and asked them to leave the house set for demolition.
“They don’t give me any room for explanation what they just know is that I am wasting their time. They started their work without even informing, I have no power” she narrates.
Taban also notes that the council is not following original survey report which he says has been alters many times.
“But they are going beyond what they are expected and its hurting” he adds.
Last year, the Project Affected Persons through Buga and Company Advocates dragged the council to court, demanding compensation over destructions caused.
However, most of these families later agreed to leave the areas that survey report indicates lie on road reserve after mediation out of court, but only one family was left.
Mr. Nasur Muhammed, a Lead Lawyer at Buga and Company Advocates is confident that their clients have not lost it all as the matter is still in court.
Nasur explains that, they will pursue for rights of the Project Affected Persons.
“We shall always respect the due process of court and pursue our clients’ right over their properties” he confidently reveals.
“The good thing is valuation report was done and we know our client (evicted) is claiming from municipal so we shall pursue that one along that side, we shall also pursue general for this inhuman treatment” he adds.
The Lawyer also claims that they were not notified of the demolition but only served with the letter later.
Meanwhile, Arua City Mayor Alhaji Isa Kato says, the family was not able to agree despite their efforts to settle the matter.
“We tried to engage this person to at least come and sit down with us and we forge a way forward which he did not and he is not collaborating with us” the Mayor says.
Arua City Council fears that the money will be returned if they don’t beat deadline for the project.
According to information obtained from Buga and Company Advocates, a firm that is representing Project Affected Persons, this family is entitled to about 72 million shillings after valuation was done.
The school road project commenced in January 2020 and is expected to last for a period of 18 months.
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