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Gov’t cancels three titles on Makerere university land



Government has cancelled three titles awarded to Buganda Kingdom Princess, Faridah Namusisi Naluwembe Namirembe alias Bwanga Bwamirembe on Makerere University land.   The titles are for plots 14 and 45 on block 253 Kyadondo in Nakinyuguzi Zone and Plot 261 at Lukuli zone all, in Makindye division in Kampala. The land measures 14 acres.

Robert Opio, the acting Commissioner Land Registration in the Lands, Housing and Urban Development Ministry has confirmed the cancellation of the said land titles, saying they were issued erroneously.  Opio says the certificates of title were issued in violation of the terms of the August 30, 2013 temporally injunction issued by High Court, which ordered the status quo over the land be maintained.

pursuant to the provisions of Section 73 of the Registration of Titles Act (Cap. 230), you are hereby required to send to the office of Titles the Duplicate Certificates of title comprising of Kyadondo Block 253 Plots 14, 45 and 261 in your possession for cancellation within seven (7) days from the date of service on you of this notice,” says Opio in his January 28th 2020 letter to Princes Namusisi Faridah.

Government has also ordered the Commissioner, Surveys and Mapping/ Senior Staff Surveyor of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Ministry Zonal Office to cancel and all the subdivisions of the contested plots, and reinstate the survey record for Freehold Register Volume 52 Folio 25.

This comes a few days after Makerere University placed a caveat emptor on the land warning members of the public not to make payments or engage with any such entities or their agents or proxies on the said land, lest their transactions become void.

On Friday January 24th, Makerere University Council Secretary, Yusuf Kiranda petitioned the commissioner Land registration requesting for the cancellation of the contested land titles. In his petition, Kiranda indicated that Makerere University has owned the land in question since September 26th 1938 and acquired a freehold title over it in 1955.

He accused Naluwembe of fraudulently obtaining Mailo certificates for the contested land, which she superimposed on the university land with help of officers in lands registry.  “The purpose of this letter is, therefore, to formally lodge a complaint with your office and to request for your urgent intervention by investigating this fraud and causing the cancellation of the forged titles as well as the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators,” Kiranda said in his petition to Lands Ministry.

A similar petition was served to the Director Land Protection Unit in the Uganda Police Force seeking the urgent intervention of the Force.


Makerere university records show that Bwanga laid claim on the contested land in 2013 and forcefully accessed it with the help of heavily armed police from the Very Important Person Protection Unit-VIPPU.

She reportedly went to the land again on April 26, 2013 with her police guards and cut down trees, demolished university houses and uprooted the fence and concrete boundary pillars. As a result, Makerere University filed a case of criminal trespass against Bwanga at Katwe Police Station vide reference no. 88/29/04/2013.

The Makindye Deputy Resident City Commissioner convened a meeting on May 8th, 2013, involving the warring parties and directed Bwanga to stop all activities on the contested land in vain. Bwanga claimed that she was acting on behalf of Buganda Kingdom.

Some of those who attended the meeting included former Police Spokesperson, the late Andrew Felix Kaweesi, the Kawempe and Wandegeya Divisional Police Commanders and officers from the Internal Security Organisation. On October 31st, 2013, Apollo Makubuya, Buganda’s Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister wrote to M/s Kateera and Kagumire Advocates, the external lawyers of Makerere University distancing the Kingdom from Bwanga’s actions.

“She (Bwanga) doesn’t represent or act for the Kingdom,” said Makubuya in his letter.  In 2017, Makerere University turned to the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Commission to investigate its feud with Bwanga. It is not clear whether the land probe ever investigated the matter.

Source: URN

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Breaking: Witness Radio and Partners to Launch Human Rights Monitoring, Documentation, and Advocacy Project Tomorrow.



By Witness Radio Team.

Witness Radio, in collaboration with Dan Church Aid (DCA) and the National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD), is set to launch the Monitoring, Documentation, and Advocacy for Human Rights in Uganda (MDA-HRU) project tomorrow, 22nd February 2024, at Kabalega Resort Hotel in Hoima District.

The project, funded by the European Union, aims to promote the protection and respect for human rights, and enable access to remedy where violations occur especially in the Mid-Western and Karamoja sub-regions where private sector actors are increasingly involved in land-based investments (LBIs) through improved documentation, and evidence-based advocacy.

The three-year project, which commenced in October 2023, focuses its activities in the Mid-Western sub-region, covering Bulisa, Hoima, Masindi, Kiryandongo, Kikuube, Kagadi, Kibale, and Mubende districts, and Karamoja sub-region, covering Moroto, Napak, Nakapiripirit, Amudat, Nabilatuk, Abim, Kaabong, Kotido, and Karenga districts.

The project targets individuals and groups at high risk of human rights violations, including Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) and Land and Environmental Defenders (LEDs). It also engages government duty bearers such as policymakers and implementers in relevant ministries and local governments, recognizing their crucial role in securing land and environmental rights. Additionally, the project involves officials from institutional duty bearers including the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), Equal Opportunities Commission, and courts, among others.

Representatives from the international community, faith leaders, and business actors are also included in the project’s scope, particularly those involved in land-based investments (LBIs) impacting the environment.

The project was initially launched in Moroto for the Karamoja region on the 19th of this month with the leadership of the National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD).

According to the project implementors,  the action is organized into four activity packages aimed at; enhancing the capacity and skills of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) and Land and Environmental Defenders (LEDs) in monitoring, documentation, reporting (MDR), and protection, establishing and reinforcing reporting and documentation mechanisms for advocacy and demand for corporate and government accountability;  providing response and support to HRDs and marginalized communities; and lastly facilitating collaboration and multi-stakeholder engagements that link local and national issues to national and international frameworks and spaces.

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Kiryandongo leadership agree to partner with Witness Radio Uganda to end rampant forced land evictions in the district.



By Witness Radio team.

Kiryandongo district leaders have embraced Witness Radio’s collaboration with the Kiryandongo district aimed at ending the rampant violent and illegal land evictions that have significantly harmed the livelihoods of the local communities in the area.

The warm welcome was made at the dialogue organized by Witness Radio Uganda, Uganda’s leading land and environmental rights watchdog at the Kiryandongo district headquarters, intended to reflect on the plight of land and environmental rights defenders, local and indigenous communities and the role of responsible land-based investments in protecting people and the planet.

Speaking at the high-level dialogue, that was participated in by technical officers, policy implementers, religious leaders, leaders of project affected persons (PAPs), politicians, media, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and development partners that support land and environment rights as well as the Land Based Investments (LBIs) Companies in the Kiryandongo district, the leaders led by the District Local Council 5 Chairperson, Ms. Edith Aliguma Adyeri appreciated the efforts taken by Witness Radio organization to organize the dialogue meeting aimed at bringing together stakeholders to safeguard community land and environmental rights in order address the escalating vice of land grabbing in the area.

During the dialogue, participants shared harrowing accounts of the impacts of land evictions and environmental degradation, including tragic deaths, families torn asunder, young girls forced into marriage, a surge in teenage pregnancies, limited access to education, and significant environmental damage which have profoundly affected the lives of the local population in Kiryandongo.

Participants attending the dialogue.

In recent years, Kiryandongo district has been embroiled in violent land evictions orchestrated to accommodate multinational large-scale agriculture plantations and wealthy individuals leaving the poor marginalized.

According to various reports, including findings from Witness Radio’s 2020 research Land Grabs at a Gun Point, the forceful land acquisitions in Kiryandongo have significantly impacted the livelihoods of local communities. It is estimated that nearly 40,000 individuals have been displaced from their land to make room for land-based investments in the Kiryandongo district. However, leaders in the district also revealed in the dialogue that women and children are affected most.

The Kiryandongo Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Mr. Jonathan Akweteireho, emphasized that all offices within the Kiryandongo district are actively involved in addressing the prevalent land conflicts. He also extended a welcome to Witness Radio, acknowledging their collaborative efforts in tackling and resolving land and environmental issues in the district.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we all know that the land rights together with environmental rights have been violated in our district, but because we don’t know what our rights are, because we have not directly done what we could to safeguard our rights and now this is the time that Witness Radio has brought us together to safeguard our rights. I want to welcome you in Kiryandongo and be rest assured that we shall give you all the necessary support to help us manage these rampant cases,” Ms. Adyeri said in her remarks during the dialogue meeting.

The team leader at Witness Radio Uganda, Mr. Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala expressed gratitude to the participants for their active involvement in the dialogue and revealed that Witness Radio’s objective is to find a holistic solution to the escalating land disputes in Kiryandongo district serving as an example to other districts.

“We are here to assist Kiryandongo district in attaining peace and stability because it stands as a hotspot for land grabbers in Uganda. Mismanagement of land conflicts in Uganda could potentially lead to a significant internal conflict. Everywhere you turn, voices are lamenting the loss of their land and property. Kiryandongo, abundant with ranches, suffers from a lack of a structured framework, which amplifies these land conflicts. The influx of wealthy investors further complicates the situation,” Mr. Ssebaggala disclosed.

Within the dialogue, Mr. Ssebaggala emphasized the need for the Kiryandongo district council to pass a by-law aimed at curbing land evictions as an initial step in addressing the prevalent land injustices.

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Kiryandongo authorities decry rising cases of land disputes



The LC5 chairperson of Kiryandongo, Ms Edith Aliguma Adyeri, has saidnland dispute has impacted on people’s lives, dignity and children’s education in the district.

Just like other parts of Uganda, conflicts over land in Kiryandongo arise when individuals – who often are blood relatives – compete for use of the same parcel of land or when members of the community lay claim over ownership of unutilised government land.

Ms Adyeri further said land and environmental rights affect people both directly and indirectly, “and we are not hearing it from afar. It is already together with us [here], it has already affected us!”

She was speaking at a meeting which sought to discuss alternative remedies to salvage the appalling land and environmental rights situation in Kiryandongo at the district headquarters on Thursday.

The one-day dialogue was aimed at reflecting on the plight of land and environmental rights defenders, local and indigenous communities and the role of responsible land-based investments in protecting people and the planet.

It was attended by private companies, members of civil society and local government officials and organised by Witness Radio – an advocate for land and environmental rights in Uganda – in partnership with Oxfam, and Kiryandongo District leadership.

“Some people have even died, families are broken up, and brothers are not seeing eye-to-eye because of land rights. Access to justice is equally becoming very difficult because when you hire one lawyer that
lawyer will talk to learned friends, and they agree. They leave you in suspense,” Ms Adyeri said.

According to her, some children have not accessed education because of land and environmental rights.

Mr Jonathan Akweteireho, the deputy Resident District Commissioner of Kiryandongo, said enlightened people especially should be sensitive to the historical injustice of this area.

“We can never handle the Bonyoro land question without thinking about that history. It will be an injustice to the incomers, to the government and to the leaders who don’t understand,” he said.

“We had 38 ranches here which on the guidance of these international organisations, especially the World Bank, the government restructured them, allowing people to settle there, they were never given titles and up to today, there are big problems in all those ranches,” he added.

Mr Jeff Wokulira Ssebaggala, the executive director of Witness Radio, said that a well-functional land sector supports land users or holders and investors, reduces inefficiencies and provides mechanisms to resolve land disputes.

Mr David Kyategeka, the secretary to the Kiryandongo District Land Board, said the issue of land rights is very clear but the major challenge has been sensitising the locals to know what rights he or she expects to enjoy out of this very important resource.


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