Ugly Predatory Presidentialism and Institutionalized Corruption Cause Land Grabs in Uganda, HURIPEC Report

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Idle This land used to Shimon primary school and Shimon Teachers' Training College in kampala

By witnessradio.org team

In support of witnessradio.org report; HURIPEC’s latest report states that the rampant and often illegal evictions have affected indigenous land owners in the Uganda for the last couple of decades and are increasingly widening tensions between the poor and rich people everyday.

The recent report released by witnessradio.org found that the weakening of judicial systems in the country as one of the issues that abet land grabs-especially in the greater Mubende where its findings were focused.

But a report into land question in the country issued in October 2017 by Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC), Makerere University, pointed out that “ogre predatory presidentialism and institutionalized corruption” are the main drivers of land grabs in the country.

“The analysis amply demonstrated that there are both endemic and structural problems which plague the overall efficient operation of the land institutions in the country,” researchers said, “what is clear is that a prominent cause of the dysfunction is the presidency.”

To be specific, the report emphasized that “not simply the office, but the man. In other words, it is not simply that is dominated by him. The dominance has had a deleterious impact on the protection of public land in the country.”

The man, who has been in president’s office for the last three decades, is Yoweri Museveni, of the National Resistance Movement (NRM.)By extension, the report notes, Museveni’s dominance “has afflicted the institutions of land governance to such a degree that they are unable to effectively carryout their designated functions.”

For instance, the report notes that “the manner in which the presidential imprimatur has brought to bear on issues affecting public land in a decidedly negative fashion.”

In their report, Makerere dons said that the Centenary Park land coupled several school land giveaways starting with Shimon Primary School which was demolished to pave way for the construction of a CHOGM hotel in 2007 which has never been completed to date to cases of several plots of land in Jinja given away on direct orders of the president.

Secondly, it was argued that such executive action prompts more rational use of land-especially in the “face of the inertia and incompetence of the land governance institutions.”

“Give the power of the pulpit that the president possesses, his intervention can thus get things moving,” the report notes, “however, it is necessary to juxtapose these claims against the influence of two related phenomena, that of predatory presidentialism and the other institutionalized corruption.”