I would like to appeal to TotalEnergies to help the family of Mr. Bashir Mbaziira. Mr. Mbaziira’s land is being acquired for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project. The family from Lwebicuncu village, Lwengo Rural sub-county, Lwengo district was informed that their land was going to be taken for the project in 2018.
One acre of the family’s land is being taken. The family had 190 coffee plants as well as cassava and banana plants on the land. The family was promised compensation for this land and crops but they are facing problems. This is because Mr. Mbaziira is mentally sick and he cannot enter into any agreements.
This means that while other EACOP-affected families in Lwengo Rural sub-county have signed for and received compensation, Mr. Mbaziira’s family has not. The family approached me as part of my work involves supporting affected people to defend their rights. The family requested that I appeal to TotalEnergies through all available options as they are desperate.
TotalEnergies’ sub-contractors promised to take Mr. Mbaziira’s mother before a judge so that she could be given powers of attorney after which she and Mr. Mbaziira’s wife would sign for and receive his compensation. This compensation is supposed to be used for Mr. Mbaziira and his family’s benefit.
However, despite pleas being made since 2019, the sub-contractors have not helped the family. The family is so worried that they may never receive compensation, or that if they do, it will be too little as inflation will have wiped its value. The family’s property was assessed in 2018.
The family should be helped to transfer Mr. Mbaziira’s powers of attorney so that they receive their compensation.
By Lydia Namirembe
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