Legislators across the Political Divide on Wednesday July 6, formed the “Uganda Parliamentarians Land Management Forum”.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday, Christine Nakimwero Kaaya, the designated Chairperson, revealed that the platform will at the core, promote and protect land rights of Ugandans across the country.
“We are going to use our oversight role especially in identifying which disputes are common across Uganda and then use our legislative role. Some of the policies are there but are not biting as far as land tenure security for our very vulnerable citizens is concerned. Look at the Parish Development Model, nothing has been put up as far as management of the Parish Area Land Committee is concerned and yet this is the first organ that would help us with land disputes,” Kaaya revealed.
“Then look at the representation, it lacks scientific evidence which the Speaker has always requested us to have. So, this is a forum that is going to help pool resources, they maybe academic or human resource to help us beef our debates with concrete research evidence data and information,” she added.
Besides that, the Kiboga Woman MP disclosed that they will be conducting constituency visits and capacity building to do with land rights.
“We would also like to influence issues of budgeting relating to land Governance, for example, how much money is there in the land fund to compensate the Baganda whose land titles have been compensated in Kibaale. What challenges do people face to request for this compensation? We would like this platform to cater for these issues and we are praying that different stakeholders do take part,” Kaaya appealed.
Two ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) John Amos Okot (Agago North) and Patrick Nyanzi (Butemba County) attended the Press Conference.
Others present were David Lukyamuzi Kalwanga (Busujju County), Asinansi Nyakato (Hoima Woman MP), Mukasa Aloysius (Rubaga South) and Ronald Kanyike (Bukoto East).
According to Gloria Acayo from the Food Rights Alliance (FRA), part of the problems bedeviling natives emanate from outdated laws.
“We do have laws that do not yet comprehend the actual issues of a Ugandan, especially the Land Acquisition Act of July 2nd 1965. …As a result, we have seen people being left in a worse state than they were before and for us as Civil Society; it is a big concern because the people of Uganda survive on land. When you take away land from them, you have not just taken the soul. You have taken the identity and livelihood,” Acayo pointed out.
At the moment, Acayo reasoned, there is no dichotomy between Public and Government land.
“As a result, we have seen land giveaways happening in the country including forests and wetlands being taken away. And yet these are the resources that people have been using. And all these are happening when we do have the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and NEMA in place,” she lamented.
According to the Police Crime Report of 2021, a total of 332 cases of ‘very’ serious land related crimes were reported at the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) headquarters in Kibuli, Kampala indicating a 4% increase.
On the other hand, a total of 319 cases of land related crimes were reported across the country in 2020.
By the end of 2020, 287 cases were still under investigation, 98 had been sent to the DPP/RSA for legal guidance while ten cases were before courts. All in all, Shs 4,108,400,000 was lost in fraudulent land transactions.
On a lighter note, Police managed to recover Shs 220,000,000 and fifteen certificates of titles.