Oxfam’s Patience Akumu (left) addresses the media with Action Aid’s Fredrick Kawooya (centre) and PELUM’s Josephine Akia Luyimbazi at Uganda Land Alliance offices in Ntinda. Photo by Juliet Kasirye
Land rights activists have asked the Government to come out and declare their stand on the proposed amendment to Article 26 of the Constitution.
“There is uncertainty, the people are anxious. We cannot assume that the Bill is dead just because the debate has gone silent. Let government come out openly and withdraw the bill so that the people can get the assurance that their land right is protected,” said Fred kawooya, the chairperson Uganda Land Alliance.
The infamous proposal to amend Article 26 was introduced last year. Among others, it sought to give government powers to compulsorily acquire land. The article provides for protection from deprivation of property.
The Bill was outrightly rejected prompting government, through the minister of justice and constitutional affairs, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, to recall it to cabinet.
Appearing before the committee on legal and parliamentary affairs, he said that they were recalling the Bill for further scrutiny.
While addressing journalists on Wednesday at the Uganda Land Alliance (ULA) offices in Ntinda, Kawooya noted that Ugandans are on tenterhooks due to the silence and demanded that the Government comes out to state its position on the Bill.
“Our plea is that this must be concluded so that Ugandans can stop waiting,” he noted.
David Pulkol, the executive director of the African Leadership Institute, described the government move as a tactical one which is likely to resurrect once it re-organises itself.
“The citizens should not relax, it is not over yet,” he said.
He explained that during the formation of the Constitution, the constituent assembly gave government powers to acquire land but put safeguards to ensure that the acquisition is not for personal interests.
He noted that under the article, the assembly made sure that incase a private developer wanted land, they discuss it directly with the owners.
“People should not suffer after giving out their land for public good. They should be able to benefit from it,” he said.
He added that citizens need assurance that they will be compensated, at market price, before their land is taken and they had a right to seek redress in case of abuse.
He noted that several attempts have been made by government to amend the article and asked legislators not to slumber and caught unaware.
While referring to the Apaa land saga, Pulkol advised government to give citizens the right to be shareholders in private companies instead of evicting them from their source of livelihood.
He explained that the land should have been valued and a share capital made so that the locals can have shares in these private companies so that they earn dividends to supplement their incomes.
Algresia Akwi Ogojo, the ULA executive director, asked the legislators to be sensitive and mindful of the land question, noting that it was thoroughly debated in the Constituent Assembly and Ugandans should live with the decision which was made then.
“Land is the only resource we have, if taken away from us, they will have rendered us nationless and without citizenship. A Ugandan without land is not a citizen and does not have an identity,” she said.
Anna Ebaju Adeke the female youth MP, noted that instead of creating regressive laws, government should be more concerned with how to tackle corruption in the implementation of its projects.
“Land is not a major hindrance to the implementation of development projects. These projects are hampered by government officials who inflate the costs of the project and later keep the bigger chunks for themselves,” Ebaju said.
The activists noted that by passing the amendment, the existing land abuses will be legitimised, leaving Ugandans economically and socially poor.
They want government to instead deal with corruption and inflated costs in compensation processes and also invest in the judiciary so that land matters are expeditiously resolved.
Source: New Vision
Statement: The Energy Sector Strategy 2024–2028 Must Mark the End of the EBRD’s Support to Fossil Fuels
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is due to publish a new Energy Sector Strategy before the end of 2023. A total of 130 civil society organizations from over 40 countries have released a statement calling on the EBRD to end finance for all fossil fuels, including gas.
From 2018 to 2021, the EBRD invested EUR 2.9 billion in the fossil energy sector, with the majority of this support going to gas. This makes it the third biggest funder of fossil fuels among all multilateral development banks, behind the World Bank Group and the Islamic Development Bank.
The EBRD has already excluded coal and upstream oil and gas fields from its financing. The draft Energy Sector Strategy further excludes oil transportation and oil-fired electricity generation. However, the draft strategy would continue to allow some investment in new fossil gas pipelines and other transportation infrastructure, as well as gas power generation and heating.
In the statement, the civil society organizations point out that any new support to gas risks locking in outdated energy infrastructure in places that need investments in clean energy the most. At the same time, they highlight, ending support to fossil gas is necessary, not only for climate security, but also for ensuring energy security, since continued investment in gas exposes countries of operation to high and volatile energy prices that can have a severe impact on their ability to reach development targets. Moreover, they underscore that supporting new gas transportation infrastructure is not a solution to the current energy crisis, given that new infrastructure would not come online for several years, well after the crisis has passed.
The signatories of the statement call on the EBRD to amend the Energy Sector Strategy to
- fully exclude new investments in midstream and downstream gas projects;
- avoid loopholes involving the use of unproven or uneconomic technologies, as well as aspirational but meaningless mitigation measures such as “CCS-readiness”; and
- strengthen the requirements for financial intermediaries where the intended nature of the sub-transactions is not known to exclude fossil fuel finance across the entire value chain.
Download the statement: https://www.iisd.org/system/files/2023-09/ngo-statement-on-energy-sector-strategy-2024-2028.pdf
Complaint against unprofessional conduct of the DPC Kiryandongo district for aiding and abetting land grabbing in kiryandongo district.
Professional Standards Unit, Uganda Police-Kampala.
RE: COMPLAINT AGAINST UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF THE DPC KIRYANDONGO DISTRICT FOR AIDING AND ABETTING LAND GRABBING IN NYAMUTENDE KITWARA PARISH KIRYANDONGO DISTRICT AND CARRYING OUT ILLEGAL ARRESTS AND DETENTION OF INNOCENT RESIDENTS/ BIBANJA OWNERS FOR PROTESTING AGAINST THE ILLEGAL EVICTION FROM THEIR LAND.
We act for and behalf of the Lawful and bonafide occupants of Land described as LRV MAS 2 FOLIO 8 BLOCK 8 PLOT 22 (FORMERLY KNOWN AS RANCH 22).
Our Clients are residents of Nyamutende Village, Kitwara Parish in Kiryandongo District where they have lived for more than 30 years and sometime in 2017, they applied for a lease of the said Land to Kiryandongo District Land Board through the Directorate of Land Matters State House.
As they were still awaiting their Application to be processed, they were shocked to establish that the said land had been instead leased to and registered in the names of Isingoma Julius, Mwesige Simon, John Musokota William, Tumusiime Gerald, Wabwire Messener Gabriel, Ocema Richard and Wilson Shikhama, some of whom were not known to the Complainants. A copy of the Search is attached hereto
Our clients protested the above action and appealed to relevant offices, but were shocked to discover that the above persons had gone ahead and sold the same to a one Maseruka Robert.
Aggrieved by these actions, the Complainants appealed to the RDC who advised them to institute proceedings against the said persons, and assigned them a one Mbabazi Samuel to assist them to that effect. The said Mbabazi accordingly filed Civil Suit Noa 46 of 2019 against tne said registered proprietors at Masindi High Court challenging the illegal and fraudulent registration, sale and transfer of the subject land to Maseruka Robert.
While awaiting the progress of the case mentioned hereinabove, the Complainants were surprised to find that the said Mbabazi, instead of assisting them, he went into a consent settling the said suit on their behalf without their knowledge or consent. A copy of the Consent is attached hereto.
Among the terms of the said consent Judgment was that the residents would be compensated without specifying how much and would in return vacate the Land.
As if that was not enough, Maseruka Robert and Mbabazi Samuel are going ahead to execute the said Consent Judgment by forcefully evicting the occupants without compensation which has prompted the complainants to challenge the said Consent by applying for its review and setting aside at Masindi High Court which is coming up for hearing on the 29th March 2023. A copy of the Application is attached hereto.
Sensing the imminent threat of eviction, we also filed an application for interim stay of execution of the said consent to avoid rendering their application for review nugatory but unfortunately the same could not be heard on the date it was fixed for hearing (6th February 2023). A copy of the Application is attached hereto
On Thursday last week, three tractors being operated by 6 workers of a one Mbabazi Samuel [the very person who had been entrusted to represent our Clients to secure their Land through Civil Suit No.46 of 2019] encroached close to 50 acres of our Clients’ land and started ploughing it but our Client’s protested and chased them away.
We have however been shocked to receive information from our Clients that on Sunday at Mid night, 3 police patrols invaded the community in the night and arrested community members; Mulenje Jack, Steven Kagyenji, Mulekwa David, Ntambala Geoffrey, Tumukunde Isaac 15 years, Kanunu Innocent, Mukombozi Frank, Kuzara, Rwamunyankole Enock, and took them to Kiryandongo Police Station where they are currently detained.
We strongly protest the illegal arrests and detention of our Clients as this is a carefully orchestrated land grabbing scheme by Maseruka Robert and Mbabazi Samuel who are receiving support from the DPC Kiryandongo.
The purpose of this Letter therefore is to request your good office to investigate the misconduct, abuse of office and unprofessionalism of the said DPC Kiryandongo District and all his involvement in the land grabbing schemes on land formerly known as Ranch 22.
Looking forward to your urgent intervention,
C.C The Head Police Land Protection Unit Police Head Quarters Naguru
CC The RDC Kiryandongo District
CC The Chairman LCVKityadongo District
CC The Regional Police CommanderAlbertine Region
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