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Startling Revelations About 213 Titles Government Returned To Mengo Emerge at Land Commission of Inquiry



By team

A revelation by officials of Buganda Land Board (BLB), a professional body that Buganda King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II to manage land and properties returned under the restitution of Assets and properties Act 1993, that only 8 out of 213 land titles returned by Central Government to Mengo in 2013 had been transferred to Kabaka’s name so far raised eyebrows in the session of the inquiry investigating into land management in Uganda.

Comprised of Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, Olive Kazarwe, Rutagaaza Suuza, Freddie Ruhindi, Robert Ssebunya, Mary Oduka Ochan, Joyce Habasa, Dr Rose Nakayi, George Bagonza Tinkamanyire and Douglas Singiza, the Commission heard on Friday afternoon that the Ministry of Lands was yet start processing the transfer of the remaining 205 titles to Kabaka Mutebi’s names three years later.

“In 2013, we received 213 titles from government through the president, it’s about three years now, but they [government] have transferred few of them into Kabaka’s name,” said Kyewalabye Male, the Chief Executive Officer of Buganda Land Board.

Kyewalabye explained that “we have been approaching the Ministry of lands to transfer these titles, but we don’t know why they are delaying the process yet the president gave a directive to transfer these titles. So, we play that this matter is expedited for the benefit of the tenants and the landlord [Kabaka] so as our work can continue.”

Although they didn’t make conclusive remarks on the issue, many of the Commission members looked astonished, promising to do something about it in their report.


Buganda Land Board officials led by Martin Kasekende, the chairman Board of Directors, Buganda Land Board and Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Environment in Buganda Kingdom, Barnabas Ndawula, Head legal department, Bashir Kizito, Head Physical Planning, survey and research, among others, the Board said that Uganda is sitting on time bomb, warning that the way computerization of land Information System was handled could be a recipe for disability in Uganda.

“The way computerization of land system has been made, has not followed the best standards which has reduced people’s land measurements and it can spark off trouble in the country just in case the land owners opted for opening of their boundaries,” said Kyewalabye.

When the commission tasked the Buganda Land Board officials to share their views of the possible causes of falsehoods that lead to creation of multiple titles on the same piece of land, officials faulted Ministry of Lands officials for applying weak methods of surveying land.

They thus appealed to government to strengthen its departments of; Department of Surveys and Mapping and office of titles to ensure that all due processes are being followed before issuing titles.

Between 2010 and 2013, Government contracted IGN France International to digitalize land titles and in 2013, the company handed over the first phase of digitalized 592,000 land title records to the ministry of Lands.

However, the ongoing system has since faced fierce criticism with a section of Ugandans saying that the new system is full of falsified land titles thus escalating land grab crisis in the country.


Buganda Land Board officials, also used their interface in the committee to vehemently oppose the proposal by Government to amend article 237 (1) of the constitution to provide for compulsory acquisition of land by government without compensation to the affected land owner.

“We oppose it [land amendment] because the law in Uganda provides that land belongs to people. Secondly, many people keep their money in land. So, when you say that you will compulsorily take their land on which their houses were built, where will they sleep?” Kyewalabye said.

He said that even with the current plain constitutional provision, government has reneged to the extent that it has used some of Kabaka’s land without payments before road constructions.

“We have many cases where Kabaka’s land has been grabbed by government in the process of constructing roads without compensating Kabaka up to now, if government can grab Kabaka’s land what about the peasants?” said Kyewalabye.

“Therefore, we out rightly oppose that bill because we believe it will promote unfairness and land grabbing in the country with impunity,” he added.

According to Kyewalabye, the projects in which Kabaka has been affected, Kibuye-Entebbe road, completed in 1998, Kampala northern bypass extension, Entebbe Express Highway ,Munyonyo Spur, Mpigi-Maddu-Ssembabule and Mukono-Kyetume-Katosi, comprising 70-acres and worth more that Shs 10bn.

Article 237(1) of the constitution stipulates that “land in Uganda belongs to the citizens of Uganda and shall vest in them in accordance with the land tenure systems provided for this constitution.”

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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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