Land owners who were paid compensation by the government of Uganda for using their land for oil exploration, production and building of oil refinery among others are said to have gone on spending spree with their booty displaying their wealth at drinking spots and marrying more women to satisfy their instincts .
“Landowners in Hoima and Bulisa districts in Western Uganda received compensation ranging from 40 million shillings to 100 million shillings. People were given money that they have never ever received in their lives. this is a huge sum of money paid to individual farmers and landowners who have never seen or handled any in their entire life”, stated Mrs. Beatrice Rukanyanga , a land owner and community leader at oil rich Hoima district in Western Uganda.
She said “most of these farmers collected the money without the knowledge of their wives or families members and went to drinking spots to engage in daily who is who and who can drink most competitions. They buy drinks for whoever is available and serve as much as those present could drink”.
“While some left their marital homes and married new wives. Others bought used cars and motor bikes with their money and displayed them in town. A man bought a second hand car for 20 million shillings US$8,000, which broke down after two months. Another manbought a motorbike which was stolen the same day and in a bid to prove to the friends that he is wealthy, he bought the same brand of a motor bike that same day” explained Mrs. Rukanyanga, in an interview with these reporter during a visit to Hoimer District in Western Uganda this month.
Instead of these farmers and landowners like me moving close to the potential industrial areas to purchase farmlands to resettle and take advantage of the opportunities emerging as a result of the oil production and related activities , they chose to live extravagant lifestyles , a situation that is likely to affect their livelihoods. I think the nongovernmental organizations here initially did not do much to sensitize the land owners which made them waste their money, she noted.
We have now stepped up efforts to educate them on how to properly utilize and invest their money to protect their future through outreach and counseling programmes. We have community farmer based groups that have categories the farmers and educating them on how to properly take advantage of their opportunities available.
Source: Kwabena Adu Koranteng/ New Crusading Guide
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