Govt profiling powerful land grabbers, says Nabakooba
What you need to know:
- Land has continued to be a sticky issue in many districts across Uganda.
The Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Judith Nabakooba has said “government is profiling powerful individuals involved in land grabbing across the country.”
Speaking to residents and local leaders in Kiboga District on December 14, Nabakooba expressed concern that some moneyed people and powerful government officials are directly involved in land grabbing while others are doing it through “their well-connected agents”.
“Some [top government officials] have gone ahead to grab land that accommodates government institutions with the sole aim of hoodwinking the government to use the Land Fund to pay them. We have concrete information about this clandestine move and we will not allow it to happen,” the minister told a gathering at the district headquarters.
Ms Nabakooba said those fueling land conflicts and evicting poor sitting tenants are enemies of the ruling NRM government.
“I recall very well that since the NRM government took over power in 1986, people have been saying we can sleep however much we are poor and now the enemies are struggling to take that away by evicting the wananchi from their ancestral land, " Nabakoba observed as she voiced assurance that government is now determined to defend the peadants.
She disclosed that President Museveni recently instituted a committee headed by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to handle issues related to evictions in protected areas like forest reserves across the country .
“ That committee is responsible for handling land issues from areas where government has interest, but with a proper relocation plan for the sitting tenants,” she explained.
Under the new arrangement, authorities like National Forestry Authority (NFA) will be required to make reports and send them to the committee which will also forward them to President Museveni for further action.
Curing land wrangles
Land has continued to be a sticky issue in many districts across Uganda where wealthy people with land titles sometimes unlawfully evict poor tenants from their ancestral land claiming that they are illegally settling on the land.
It is on this basis that the government is pushing for land reforms which State officials say “say are aimed at curing rampant evictions in the country.”