Govt resolves Rutoro land dispute

A LONG-STANDING land dispute that lasted for 17 years pitting farmers and investors at the Kagoma Ranch, in Muleba District, Kagera Region has been amicably resolved after the government’s intervention, with both parties being allocated new boundaries.

The Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Dr Angeline Mabula, who led a team of eight ministers, visited the Kagoma Ranch on Thursday where she announced the government decision.

“President Samia Suluhu Hassan has directed that the Kagoma Ranch which comprised 50,690 hectares would now be shared equally. The farmers will own about 18,031 hectares (44.4 per cent) while the investors would own 32,658 hectares (55.5 per cent),” Dr Mabula said.

She added that, following the decision, the government was committed to ensure that peace prevails and the investors conduct their livestock business in a conducive environment, while farmers also enjoy their sweat through production of cash and food crops,” she said.

Minister Mabula also assured investors who own blocks at Kagoma Ranch that their interests would be safeguarded while reminding them to pay the required land levy as per their contracts.

Muleba North Legislator, Mr Charles Mwijage has repeatedly been quoted asking for government intervention to end the land dispute facing Rutoro Ward.

Mr Mwijage, who also attended the meeting, revealed that the government through the Ministry of Land, Housing and Human Settlements had allocated about 60m/- for putting up permanent beacons at the Kagoma Ranch.

He explained that the exercise was expected to be completed by the end of next month, urging the residents to utilise the opportunity by doubling production of cash and food crops.

Rutoro Ward has for quite a long time been a centre of crisis between farmers and livestock owners with each side accusing the other. Several people are reported to have been killed and some houses torched due to endless confrontations.

According to the 2022 Population and Housing Census Rutoro Ward comprised four villages namely Byengelegele, Rutoro, Kyobuheke and Mishambya with a population of 15,979.

Kagera Region comprises  five Ranches  with 179,967 hectares under the National Ranching Company (NARCO).  They include  Kitengule (41,700 hectares), Missenyi (60,851 hectares), Mabale (14,026 hectares), Kagoma (50,690 hectares) and Kikulula (12,700 hectares).

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