Uganda, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Ugandans in the diaspora, commonly known as ‘basama’, have long complained about land grabbing and the misuse and theft of their hard-earned money by fraudsters back home in their country, Uganda.
The president of the Uganda North America Association (UNAA), Henrietta Wamala, expressed the grievances of the diaspora in her association to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa.
Wamala says that most of the individuals who are complaining have not received any help from the Ministry of Lands regarding the loss of their property to land grabbers.
In one scenario, Wamala says that landowner Juliet Nabasirye passed away in the United States after discovering that her land was taken.
Another landowner, Evelyn Balade, has unfortunately been required to make many trips to Uganda to attend court hearings concerning her piece of land that was unlawfully sold.
Another victim of such unfortunate scenarios whose complaints have not been attended to is Fr. John Bosco Musinguzi.
“We have become victims because we cannot travel to Uganda so often to go and check on our properties, to go and check on our lands and people think they can make use of that to take properties from us. Unfortunately, I tried so much to get an appointment from the Ministry of Lands and I have not been successful. They either have decided not to talk to us and that is why we are bringing the issue to you,” Wamala says.
“These are the issues that we are living with. We go and work so hard for our money. The government begs us to come back and invest, but we are not protected. How are we going to convince our fellow diaspora that it is safe to go and invest at home when we are not being protected by the government? This is something that I thought we need to have a discussion upon,” she adds.
In response to the complaints, Thomas Tayebwa has given the Uganda North America Association assurance that parliament will soon look into their issues and work hand in hand with the government so that they are resolved.
Tayebwa further promised to conduct a Zoom meeting with the association together with the State Minister of Lands, Sam Mayanja to address their issues.
He also disclosed that he has been a victim of land grabbing, but that he has refrained from legal action for fear of allegations that he is manipulating his influential position.
Tayebwa made these assurances while on his official visit to the United States.
“From here I am going to call the State Minister of Lands Sam Mayanja in my office. We shall hold a zoom meeting and I will see how he dodges you. This is a very challenging issue. Even me they cheat me in Kampala. Someone went and occupied my apartment in Mbuya. He got a court order and now I am out. If I touch him, they say I have abused my power. I saw the president complaining that someone had stolen his land in Kisozi,” Tayebwa narrated.
He also cautioned the Ugandans living abroad against trusting their relatives and friends in the process of purchasing valuable properties in Uganda. He advised that they would rather hire the services of lawyers to manage such transactions.
“The problem is you prefer to use relatives and friends instead of lawyers. If you use a lawyer and you get cheated, we shall report that lawyer to the Law Council and he or she will be punished but if you use a relative or a friend, whom do you report to? Now, with Whatsapp video calls, I can send someone to show me my land. You make love on phones, why can’t you use them to monitor your properties?” He wondered.
He advised the people in the diaspora against being lured into ‘hot deals’ in Kampala. He has promised to follow up on the issue of opening up consular services in different cities to make access to travel documents easy.
He has also promised to write a brief to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and President Yoweri Museveni, seeking the government’s response on the concerns of UNAA.
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