Liberate us from land grabbers – Luweero residents

Luweero District councillors join residents in a protest march against an impending eviction at Nabutaka Village in Butuntumula Sub-county in Luweero District in 2018. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • Mr Mugambwa said his house was demolished by a land grabber claiming to be a Bush War veteran and an NRM cadre.  He said acts of corruption and land grabbing are contrary to the NRM ideals, adding that the government should ensure that they are curbed. 

As the country celebrates Liberation Day today, residents of greater Luweero districts of Nakasongola, Luweero and Nakaseke complain that the rampant land disputes and corruption in the area has rendered the day meaningless.

Speaking to this publication on Tuesday, the residents said hundreds of people in the greater Luweero Sub-region have been illegally evicted by well-connected land grabbers.

They said if the land grabbing and corruption is left unchecked, it would lead to the NRM party losing support in the sub-region.  The area, also known as Luweero Triangle, is where President Museveni launched the five-year Bush War that propelled him into power in 1986.

January 26, the day the Museveni-led National Resistance Army/Movement took over power, was designated Liberation Day.

However, residents of the area, which bore the brunt of the Bush War, complain that their sacrifices were in vain owing to what they termed as rampant land grabbing and corruption. 

Ms Agnes Nalwadda (76), a resident of Makulubita Sub-county in Luweero District, 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.”

She claimed that land grabbers have connections at the land offices and all government departments including the police.

“I have been arrested for allegedly trespassing on my own land. As a civilian NRM veteran, the only Liberation Day gift for our people is the land question,” Ms Nalwadda said.

Mr Steven Mugambwa, a resident of Kimegere Village in Semuto Sub-county, Nakaseke District, said while President Museveni has the will to fight the ongoing injustice, his subordinates are letting him down. 

 “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 resettlement of the people who have lost their land to the land grabbers,”  he added.

Mr Mugambwa said his house was demolished by a land grabber claiming to be a Bush War veteran and an NRM cadre.  He said acts of corruption and land grabbing are contrary to the NRM ideals, adding that the government should ensure that they are curbed. 

“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.

Mr Superito Kirori, the Zirobwe Sub-county LC3 chairperson, said the rampant land disputes stands in the way of the different development projects including the Parish Development Model (PDM) because a landless population cannot initiate money generating projects.

“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, Mr Richard Bwabye, said his office is overwhelmed by cases of land disputes.

“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. 

NRM response

The NRM party Director for Communication and Mobilisation, Mr Emmanuel Dombo, said the top party organ is 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, adding, “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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