UGANDA, Luweero | Real Muloodi News | Residents of the greater Luweero districts, including Nakasongola, Luweero, and Nakaseke, are speaking out about the rampant land disputes and corruption in their area.
They say that hundreds of people in the greater Luweero sub-region have been illegally evicted by powerful land grabbers.
The residents are concerned that if these issues are not addressed, they could lead to a loss of support for the NRM (National Resistance Movement) party in the sub-region.
The Luweero Triangle, as the area is known, was the site of President Museveni’s five-year Bush War that brought him to power in 1986.
However, residents feel that their sacrifices during the war have been in vain due to the ongoing land grabbing and corruption.
Agnes Nalwadda (76), a resident of Makulubita Sub-county in Luweero District, has been fighting against land grabbers for over a decade to protect the land she inherited from her father. She says that despite her efforts, the land grabbers have connections in government offices and the police, making it difficult to stop them.
Ms Agnes Nalwadda said: “I have spent more than 10 years fighting the land grabbers on land that I inherited from my father. Our family has owned it since the early 1940s but the land grabbers want to take it away. The different government offices have failed to stop the land grabbers.”
Steven Mugambwa, a resident of Kimegere Village in Semuto Sub-county, Nakaseke District, says that while President Museveni is committed to fighting against this injustice, his subordinates are not following through.
“My case is even known to the President after news got to him that my house had been demolished by a suspected land grabber. While the President has promised to have my problem resolved, many other people in our area are becoming landless each day,” Mr Mugambwa said.
Mugambwa, a victim of the land-grabbing syndicate, is calling for the resettlement of people who have lost their land. He says that acts of corruption and land grabbing go against the NRM ideals and should be addressed by the government.
“As a victim of the land grabbing syndicate that has left my family homeless, the only gift that the people of Nakaseke and the greater Luweero can get from the NRM government is the resettlement of the people who have lost their land to the land grabbers,” he added.
Superito Kirori, the Zirobwe Sub-county LC3 chairperson, says that the rampant land disputes are hindering development projects, as a landless population cannot initiate money-generating projects.
He says that the challenges are often fueled by corrupt government agents within the land registry offices and security forces.
“We have land ownership challenges that are at times fuelled by government agents within the land registry offices and the security organs. More than 600 residents of Bubuubi Village are threatened with eviction by an individual whose land title was recently found to be illegal by the State House Land Directorate. The residents have lost property and many have been arrested by the police on charge of trespass,” he said.
The Luweero Resident District Commissioner, Richard Bwabye, says his office is overwhelmed by the number of land disputes.
He believes that a concerted effort is needed to address the main issues and that the land fund may help resolve some of these challenges.
“It is true that the land ownership challenge threatens several development programmes. Land problems demand a concerted effort that will try to address the main issues. I also believe that the land fund will help resolve some of these challenges,” he said.
The NRM party’s Director for Communication and Mobilisation, Emmanuel Dombo, says that the party is currently deliberating on the matter.
“The NRM party is law abiding and has tried to allow the lawful government organs to exercise their duty by ensuring that all people enjoy the right to own land, among other rights. It is unfortunate that particular offices including the land offices, the police and Judiciary have, at times, been used to execute illegalities,” he said.
He added, “The central executive committee under the guidance of the NRM party chairperson is planning measures to ensure that the people repossess land grabbed by selfish individuals. We understand the pain of our people and are determined to resolve the land problem in Uganda.”
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