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More than 1,300 families lined up for free land titles



Dialogue. Some of the beneficiaries on Block 125 Plot 18 to 23 land at Ddagala in Kalungi Sub-county attend a sensitisation meeting on Tuesday. PHOTO BY DAN WANDERA

At least 1,300 families in Nakasongola District have a reason to smile after government finalised the process of issuing them free land titles.
The beneficiaries are in eight villages across the sub-counties of Kalungi, Kalongo and Lwampanga.
This comes after government successfully compensated the absentee landlords who owned the land the tenants currently occupy.
The beneficiaries, who settled on an estimated 10.8 square mile piece of land, have reportedly suffered the wrath of a section of absentee landlords through illegal evictions, destruction of property and injustices in land ownership disputes.
However, during a sensitisation tour by officials from Uganda Land Commission (ULC), headed by the chairperson, Ms Beatrice Byenkya, on Tuesday, residents of Kigejjo Village in Kalungi Sub-county, who are occupying Block 128, Plot 19, expressed dismay that some of their colleagues had been duped to pay money to their landlord yet they had already sold land to the commission under the land fund scheme.
“We sold our cows and gave money to our landlord after they promised to give us our respective land titles. We are now in a dilemma after realising that the same land had already been sold to government. We are not sure whether our money can be recovered,” Mr Jerome Ssebbaale, a resident of Kigejjo Village, said.
Mr Noah Mutebi Wanzala, the Nakasongola County MP, told ULC officials that at least Shs70m was solicited from sitting tenants on Block 176, Plot 9, yet the land had already been sold to government.
“We want the Commission to follow up this matter so that this money can be recovered from the landlord. We have had a big challenge in Nakasongola District where almost 80 per cent of the residents are squatters. The unending land disputes, evictions and the failure by the land custodians to properly interpret the sensitive sections of the Land Act is the reason many people are landless,” he said.
Mr Mutebi lauded government for considering Nakasongola as a special area which was included on the list of districts to benefit from the Land Fund.
He said about Shs5b was used to pay off the absentee landlords on an estimated 10.8 square mile land in Nakasongola to have the affected tenants get their land titles.
Ms Byenkya said ULC was aware of the selfish individuals who are duping sitting tenants and several cases are being investigated.
“We have already noted cases where the commission will deduct the money that has been solicited from tenants from the compensation package to the landlords,” she said.
Ms Margaret Komuhangi, the Nakasongola District Woman MP, said about 85 per cent of the families are tenants on land that they have no proper sense of ownership.
“You cannot develop a permanent project on land where the landlord threatens to have you evicted. Some of the tenants have been forced to give in more than 60 per cent of the total land that they own to the landlord to have a land title,” she said.

Mr Ivan Sserwambala, an officer in charge of survey and plot demarcation programme at Bukalasa regional land office that also oversees greater Luweero sub-region, said the survey process was underway.
“We are already on the ground with a team of surveyors. These people will soon get their land titles from government,” he said.

Ms Betty Amongi, the former Lands minister in her recent handover report to the new minister, Ms Beti Kamya, indicated that the Ministry of Lands had outstanding arrears of about Shs140b to compensate all absentee landlords across the country and effect the presidential directives under ULC.

Other beneficiaries in Nakasongola are settled on land at Junda Village Kalungi Sub-county (Block 128 Plot 19), land at Mayirikiti Town Council on Block 135, land at Kigejjo Village on Block 176 Plot 9, land at Ddagala in Kalungi Sub-county on Block 125 Plot 18 to 23, and land at Zengebe in Lwampanga Sub-county on Block 44 Plot 6 measuring about 640 acres.

2010 land act
Nearly a decade ago, Parliament passed the Land Amendment Act 2010, which government said was to protect tenants from illegal evictions.
However, Buganda Kingdom strongly opposed the legislation, saying a new law was uncalled for since government had failed to enforce the existing laws.
The law gives tenants more rights to resist eviction by landlords. Landlords need a court order to evict tenants and must notify them before selling their land, but some of these conditions are never followed and many tenants are being evicted without court orders.

Source: Daily Monitor


Complaint against unprofessional conduct of the DPC Kiryandongo district for aiding and abetting land grabbing in kiryandongo district.



The Commandant,

Professional Standards Unit, Uganda Police-Kampala.

Dear Sir/Madam;


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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The Executive Director of Witness Radio Uganda talks about the role played by Witness Radio in protecting communities affected by large-scale agribusinesses in Kiryandongo district in an interview with the ILC.



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Witness Radio Uganda wins the best CSO land rights defenders award at the National Land Forum Awards.



By Witness Radio Team

Uganda’s leading land and environmental rights watchdog, Witness Radio has been awarded the best CSO land rights defender award 2022 in the recently concluded National Land Forum Awards held last week at Mestil hotel in Kampala.

Witness Radio’s executive Director, Jeff Wokulira Ssebaggala attributed the award to the community land and environmental rights defenders who stand up against the intimidation and different forms of harassment from land grabbers (economically powerful and politically connected companies and individual investors).

“This is an award for defenders at a community level. They work in very deadly environments filled with harassment, torture, death threats, arrest, trumped-up charges, and kidnaps among others to advocate for community land and environment rights. This is happening at a spate where criminalization and silencing of  community land rights defenders are at increase.” Jeff added.

The award has come at a time when hundreds of Ugandans in different parts of the country are accessing services provided by the organization ranging from legal service provisions, non-judicial mechanism engagements, empowerment to help them understand their rights, and using the same knowledge to use the same skills to push back against illegal and forced evictions

The chairman of the organizing committee of the second National Land Forum, Mr. Jimmy Ochom noted some progress on legislation in Uganda’s land Governance. He cited growing inequalities on land where the poor are more vulnerable.

During awards, the state minister for housing, Hon persis Namuganza revealed that the government approved the plan for 2018-2040 that maps the land use in the country.

According to the minister, the government had identified land for settlement, game reserves, wildlife, arable land for farming, and water bodies among others in the plan which she said was passed a few weeks ago.

The event was organized by Oxfam and partners and provided a platform for discussions by the different actors in the land sector on issues around land governance, including land rights, land administration, and land governance for improved collaboration, cooperation between the actors, and improved land service delivery for Ugandans under a theme “Taking stock of the National Land Policy in addressing Land inequality in addressing Land inequality in Uganda.”

Other categories of awards that were won by different organizations and individuals including Mr. Eddie Nsamba-Gayiiya for his contribution to research on land rights, Justice Centers Uganda for Promoting Access to Land Justice, and Mr. Henry Harrison Irumba for Championing Legal Reforms among others.

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