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Monday, March 20, 2023

Liberate Us from Land Grabbers – Luweero Residents

As the NRM marks 37 years in power, residents of greater Luweero; Nakasongola, Luweero and Nakaseke complain that the rampant land disputes and the 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 left unchecked, it will lead to NRM losing support in the sub-region. The areas, also known as Luweero Triangle, is where President Museveni launched the five-year Bus 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 Bush war, complain that rheir sacrifice was in vain owing to what they termed as rampant land grabbing and corruption.

Ma Agnes Nalwadda [76], a resident of Makulubita sun-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 connection 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 land question,” Ms Nalwadda said.

Mr. Steven Mugambwa, a resident of Kimegere Villege in Semuto sub-county, Nakaseke District, said while president Museveni has a 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 people who have lost their land to the land grabbers,” he added.

Mr. Mugambwa his house was demolished by a land grabber claiming to be a Bush War veteran and an NRM ideals, adding that the government should ensure that they are cubed.

“My case is even known to the president after news got to him that my house has been demolished by a suspected land grabber. While the president has promised to have mty problem resolved, many other people in our area are becoming landless each day,” Mr Mugambwa said.

Mr. Sperito Kirori, the Zirobwe sub-county; LC3 chairperson, the rampant land disputes stand in the way of 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 fueled 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 tittle was recently found to be illegal by the State House Land Directorate. The residents have lost properties and many have been arrested by the police on charges 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 programs. Land problems demand a concerted effort that will try to address the main issue. 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 mobilization, Mr. Emmanuel Dombo, said the top party organ is deliberating on the matter

“The NRM party is law a binding and has tried to allow the lawful government organs to exercise their duty by ensuring that all people enjoy their right to own land, among other rights. It is unfortunate that particular offices including the land office, 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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