ARUA. Police and the army on Sunday morning enforced the eviction of one, Mr Emmanuel Etoma Byaruhanga, a landlord at Arua Airfield.
Etoma’s residence is among other 275 residences affected by the proposed upgrading of Arua Airfield by the Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda into an international airport.
CAA officials said the affected persons were already compensated to vacate the perimeters of Arua Airfield.
Etoma,s family members who reside in the area said they were unaware of CAA’s decision to evict them.
According to the brother of the landlord, Mr Norman Adaku, who has been residing in the house within the airfield, police officers and the army stormed the home at 4am.
“When the police officers arrived at 4am, they ordered us to get out and on seeing that we were out, they started throwing our things out of the house. When we asked about the eviction warrant, my brother was then harassed and put in isolation”, Adaku said.
In the process, the landlord’s brother, Mr Nicholas Ajuani together with the son were arrested and temporarily detained for two hours at Arua Airfield police post before being set free.
Emmanuel Etoma Byaruhanga, the landlord disagreed with the actions taken by police, saying the issue of his land is still in court as proposed by CAA where dissatisfied landlords were told to lodge complaints in court in case any of them is not satisfied with valuation of their property for compensation.
Etoma revealed that the OC Arua Airfield police post recently called him to sign a document that he refused to sign because he wanted to seek advice from his lawyer first before committing himself to sign it.
“Accepting to sign the document from OC is like taking a rope to hang myself, reason being that I have a complaint with CAA, unless CAA comes on ground to tell me that the value of the land given to me is enough to let me go. But up to now they have not come and it took me by surprise seeing police and the army storming my home this morning”, Etoma noted.
Etoma said he will continue to pursue the court case because the amount CAA gave to him was not commensurate to the developments he undertook on the land.
In a telephone conversation with CAA’s General Manager for Regional Airports, Mr Samuel Wonekha, he confirmed that Etoma was paid fully and issued a vacation notice early this year in which the landlord pleaded for an extension of time for vacation that CAA granted.
“That family had been reminded when the director general wrote a letter to them and they requested for some time. The family also said they complained, which is unknown to us. The family consented to CAA, a reason they were paid about Shs 86million. Now it only becomes a critical issue when we discover that the family was still on that land after they were given reminders in February”, Wonekha disclosed.
Wanekha noted that delayed funding by the government for upgrading the airfield is one of the factors regenerating issues related to compensation which he said wouldn’t be arising by now.
There were 275 people who were affected by the move to elevate Arua Airfield into an international Airport that sits on more that 3kilometer land in Arua city. In 2015, the government allocated shs 6.5 billion shillings to compensate the affected persons in the then Dadamu and Manibe sub counties of Ayivu county, Arua city.