Kigyayo is located in Kiziranfumbi Sub-County, Kikube District. In 2000, the people of Kigyayo were attacked by the Ugandan Police Force armed led by the Royal Guards from the kingdom of Bunyoro and evicted 5000 people to leave land for the sugar-growing project of Hoima Sugar Limited. The police and the royal guards were sent by the late Herbert Rwakiswaza Kimera who claimed the ownership of this vast chunk of land in Kigyayo. The Resident District Commissioner of Hoima, the Hoima
District Police and the Local Council 3 of Kizarafumbi intervened to help the communities go back to occupy their land because the evictions were illegal. They were told to go back and use their land because the police investigation found out that the eviction was not lawful.
In 2012, the incidence happened again. This time a total of 5000 people were forcefully evicted without eviction warrant and in absence of local, district authorities. The eviction can be described as clandestine and murderous in nature. People’s crops were raided, houses were burnt, many people were murdered and mass burial was conducted. The Royal guards used bulldozers, caterpillars, and tractors to destroy the community’s properties to dispose them off their land to clear ways for sugar canes growing by Hoima Sugar Limited.
The land in question was sold by Herbert Rwakiswaza Kimera to the Indians investors to put up a sugar factory according to a report received by the Albertine Watch.
Immediately after the injustices, the communities decided to open a lawsuit against Hoima Sugar Limited. Despite the attempt made by the Masindi High court for the people to stay and go back to their land, it did not work out in favour of the people of Kigyayo. According to the court document seen by Albertine Watch, it was found out that the land in question did not belong to Herbert Kimera, but instead was borrowed from the Kigorobya Sub-County in the names of Kitana Growers co-operative society, not Herbert Rwakiswaza Kimera who did not even have a title for the land he was claiming to belong to him. This was after a survey commissioned by authorities for the opening of the boundaries of Block 6 plot 6 of the same land which was done. The survey results found out that the title for the land Hebert was claiming did not exist for that particular areas.
After the eviction, the Judge of Masindi High Court visited the locus and the camps in Kigyayo in Kiziranfumbi sub-county and ordered the security committee to make sure that Court orders are respected. However, it should be noted that the people of Kigyayo up-to-date are still suffering from a lack of basic amenities, water food, education. Their human rights have been denied and more suffering continues as they have failed to access justice in the court of law. For many years now, the High Court in Masindi has failed to read the Judgment. Besides that, the communities have been able to write petitions to the office of the President, as well as to the Commission of Inquiry into Land matters but no justice and positive response has been granted to them.
Numbers of Local, National and International Organisations have tried to play a big role to ensure the issues of Kigyayo are resolved and to see that these evictees attain justice by paying their Legal fees to enable them to access a Lawyer on time. But it’s not always easy because most of these NGOs are grappling with resources to sustain the case. The few organizations including Navigator of Development –NAVODA, Civic Response of Environment CRED and Albertine Watch are trying to push hard in a bid to ensure the evictees attain justice by being compensated for the damages caused by the Hoima Sugar factory and late Herbert Kimera Rwakiswaza.