Why land disputes continue to rage

Saturday July 11 2020

 

By Patrick Gukiina Musoke

The Baganda have a saying: Ekijja omanyi kinyaga bitono (meaning that what comes when you are in the know does not take away much from you. They also say: “Ndi Mugezi nga Mubulire” (meaning we are wise when we are told or made to know.

It is indeed undisputable that Uganda today is faced with a major crisis in the land sector and this is why government set up The Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters, which has exposed the rot in the land sector.

This can also be discerned from the huge number of cases that remained unreported something that should trigger our minds to where the bigger problem maybe emanating from. With regards to the ignominious gravity of this problem, the solution to it cannot come from any organ of government, but it can come from a combined dedicated effort of all stakeholders in this country, including the Executive, the Judiciary and the Parliament through ending self-denial and taking the bull by its horns to see to it that we eliminate the pandemic.

Land grabbing is surely the worst form of modern day slavery predominantly with the new art of purchasing court judgements, intimidation by the rich and powerful who often use the names of big shots in government to fulfil their agenda, something that is a grave danger to both our current and future national stability as land has been proved over time to be a major cause of national disintegration since one cannot grab land and get a tipper to carry it away making it a catalyst for revenge and bloodshed since it even kills the natural spirit of patriotism that people have for their country.

When names of big shots are used to grab land and the government does not take action against such people, it buoys up continuous antipathy and mistrust between the government and the citizens.

Similarly, land being a sensitive topic, when the court systems accept to be compromised for the land grabbers, it builds up mistrust, skepticism and incredulity among the populace because in most cases, the communities in which such acts take place do have the clear facts about the land ownership and the disputes that arise.

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This leads to a loss of confidence in the Judiciary, something that is more disastrous and puts the country on a path of self-destruction because a well-functioning and independent Judiciary is a key determinant in national stability.

Therefore, acts of land grabbing should be condemned. Nevertheless, with all the laws in place, what has frustrated the fight against land injustice is the so-called “endless money,” which land grabbers use.

Patrick Gukiina Musoke,
gukiimeni@gmail.com

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