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What Minister Nantaba told the Land Commission of Inquiry?

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Ida Nantaba, is a former State Minister in charge of Lands now holding the portfolio of Minister of State for ICT and National Guidance.

On May 25, Nantaba appeared before the commission of inquiry into land acquisition and management headed by Court of Appeal judge Catherine Bamugemereire.

The commission is also inquiring into the effectiveness of law, policies and processes of land acquisition, land administration, land management and land registration in the country.

Due to critical matters, Minister Nantaba raised before the committee detailing how ever-increasing land grabs are planned by big shots in government, aided by government institutions-like police, army ministry of lands, witnessradio.org finds it fit to bring you the session verbatim, and below are excerpts:

The Commission of inquiry in sessionAlbert Byenkya (lead counsel, commission): Please state your name, age and residence.
Nantaba: Thank you, my names are Aida Nantaba, I am the Member of Parliament and women representative for Kayunga District. I am the minister of State for ICT and National Guidance.
Byenkya: The reason why you were invited is because you were a minister of State for Lands and the commission wants to benefit from your experiences as a minister. During what period did you served in the ministry of Lands?
Nantaba: That was from 2012 December to 2016 June.
Byenkya: Approximately three years or so.
Nantaba: Yes.
Byenkya: Can you please describe what your mandate was at the time of your office.
Nantaba: I want to refer to the notice of appointment of the committee on illegal eviction that was issued by the President of Uganda and it was published in the Uganda gazette on the May 27, 2013. The terms of reference were mainly five and I will attach a copy on the memorandum which I will furnish the commission.

Our terms of reference are: we were supposed to identify, investigate and return tenants by occupancy and landlords who had been evicted illegally; number two, we were supposed to identify persons involved in illegal land evictions for purposes of prosecution and compensation of victims; three was to sensitise tenants and landowners on their rights and obligations and initiate the process of issuing certificates of occupancy; four was to assist land owners with authenticated eviction orders to execute them and number five was to implement presidential directives as comprised in his statement which was issued on February 2, 2013
Byenkya: What was your experience? How did this committee function? How successful was it in its terms of reference?
Nantaba: I would want to focus on three main areas: that is land administration, registration and management. Those three are the main areas that need to be looked at when we look at land ownership. Land ownership in regard to mailo land, freehold, leasehold and customary occupancy.

Once the three areas are abused or mismanaged, then land disputes crop up. I want to interest the commission into seven issues that surround the three areas that are violated.
Byenkya: Yes proceed.
Nantaba: In Uganda, we have overlapping land rights or land interests. You find a Kibanja owner and the land owner on the same piece of land yet each of them claim rights of occupancy and rights to use and develop that very land and what government has done was to introduce the land fund to solve these overlapping rights. Now land has become a commercial commodity, it is a tradable item where we have so many property agents coming up.
In the past we had landlords that accommodated Bibanja owners but of late someone gets registered on land but because he is not collecting the Busuulu (nominal ground rent), he feels like he is not using the land and therefore not benefiting anything. So he disposes off the land to the present landlord who has turned out to be property agents and these ones look at land as tradable item.

They would start parceling it out in small pieces and then sell it out and don’t accommodate the Kibanja owner who has been sitting on this land for ages. In introducing the National Land policy that now is giving a leeway to partition of land between land owners and the Bibanja owners, sometimes these are two unequals of the land owner and Kibanja owner where the later is not given a chance to say, out of my eight acres I remain with say six instead this property agent who is the new landlord dictates on how many acres, the Kibanja owner will remain with.
So land becoming the hottest commodity on the market today is exposing these Bibanja owners to people who don’t accommodate them as other people with interest on land and therefore just want to take their land without …
Byenkya: May be you will get to recommendations later, but how do we resolve these issues if the land policy is saying lets partition. If you leave it to anybody to negotiate then you will never solve the problem. Is there a way we can find a formula that works, that everybody can accept.

Nantaba: I would want to come to that later because it is one of the issues that would come later. But I was explaining that what is now fuelling land disputes are the overlapping land rights over the same piece of land where we have a Kibanja interest vis-à-vis a landlord who looks at land as another commodity for sale and leaves the Kibanja owner in abeyance.
We have an issue of speculators. Today, the discovery of oil in Uganda is one of the main reasons why disputes are rising. Some people heard, I don’t know from where that Kayunga has oil and so many big people rushed to acquire land in speculation that there is oil. You have seen what happened in Hoima, the entire Bunyoro region is suffering. Land grabbing is very rampant with a view that there is oil and so they anticipate that when compensation is due, they will be the ones to benefit.

Speculation is fuelling land disputes in this country where we are supposed to construct roads, officers in the ministry of Works together with the officers in the ministry of Lands, because they are the ones who know about the project, they rush and acquire land from whoever is sitting on that particular land and remember this is already a price doubled. When they are requesting for payment, they exaggerate the prices and, therefore, exorbitant prices become very difficult for government to compensate and make it difficult for government programmes to be implemented.
The other issue is the introduction of the land fund which I have talked about. I have also realised that some landlords are acquiring big chunks of land that are heavily occupied by tenants in anticipation that when the land fund is availed, they will be the ones to get the biggest share. I have an experience where one of the big persons in government at that time when I was fighting land grabbing and illegal land evictions, rang me and told me that the best thing for me to do is to convince the President to make sure that there is money in the land fund but “instead you think that you will just return land back to evictees. You rather put money and we pay off these landlords”.

But this is land which was grabbed and the title had been fraudulently acquired and the tenants illegally evicted and he is telling me to make sure that the President puts more money in the land fund and we just compensate this man and he goes away. So land fund is another area of speculation where people think that once money is there then we can acquire land which is fully occupied and then we shall compensate from that fund. Its availability has two areas that need to be looked at; the positive part of it and the other part where it is taken advantage of.
Then we have fraud in Land Registration Department. This is wide and I don’t think I will be able to expound fully because it takes various areas where records in the Land Registration Department are tampered with. You find the blue page that reads Nantaba is already changing to a different person and the white page will still be changed because consequently both of them will have to read different details. So when you come with your title, sometimes you are told that is fraudulent one even when it is a genuine title but because they have tampered with the records, your genuine title will be trashed away and you will be deprived of the rights to own land.

Fraud takes multiple land titling. You have heard land where we have various land titles, many of them but describing one single parcel of land.
That fuels land disputes. We have illegal sub divisions; you have a title which has 300 acres but someone sub divides your land, a surveyor and when you come to complain, they tell you that you actually had 100 acres and not 300, so bring that title and we amend the register and we give your title of 100 acres not the 300 that you knew of. This is in the Department of Mapping and Surveys.
We have caveats that are dislodged without the consent of the caveator. You lodge a caveat but you realise someone has a title even when you had lodged a caveat and because the registrar has powers to amend a register sometimes without notifying you, the caveat is dislodged and therefore they transact on your land without your consent.

Sometimes district land boards deny sitting tenant’s opportunity to acquire registrable interests. Many of these know because we tried to sensitise them during our committee operations that you can as well acquire title on the land which you occupy, especially when it is public land. Now when they try to apply, they are denied a chance to be registered because someone with more money is interested in the same land.
There are areas where former leases are denied a chance to renew their leases and I will give examples in my memorandum. We have cases where plot numbers change and when you come to complain to the registrars that are responsible for that, they tell you that title is not there or that land is in Mubende and Kayunga when actually that is your land.
We have registrars who fail to implement court orders. Court delivers judgment in favour of a person to amend the register and the registrar refuses to enter you on title and when they are held accountable they say they have never received this judgment.

We have forged letters of administration instruments. You forge letters of administration and then you are entered on a title and when you request the registrar to amend the register, yours is trashed. Therefore, we have forged documents that are used during the registration process and all this is fuelling land disputes.
We have the influx of investors into this country and quack investors. Quack investors in the sense that we saw people who were obtaining licences for instance to grow sugar but have no land to grow sugarcane and therefore would want to come and influence district land boards.
I will attach minutes where district land boards, a secretary and chairperson sit and sign on reports by area land committees even when the physical work on ground is not done. These are the minutes that they wave in our land offices, they acquire titles upon them and they come and say this is our land.

You ask for a survey report, it is not there, no deed plan, no physical survey done but they are waving a title. And when you try to interrogate, they would want to pay you off such that they shut your mouth up, leave the rest (eviction) to them because they can handle.
Our district land boards are not trained. We appoint chairpersons who have no knowledge in land administration issues; you don’t train and facilitate them. Area land committees are comprised of members that are picked from the community without any knowledge and when you bring documents, they will just append signatures as long as there is payment because it is the applicant who puts them in his car and tells them ‘I want this land and pays’ Government is not paying and you know what this person will do, there is no reason to hesitate to sign an area land committee that shows there are no tenants on land.

Byenkya: As a minister, you must have interacted with the Office of Registrar of Titles, you describe these incidences of malpractices on the part of the registrar of titles. How wide spread is this in the Office of the Registrar of Titles
Nantaba: I would just say that this is enormous because cases that were reported on a daily basis while we were dealing with issues of land evictions were all surrounded by fraud. It is fraud
Byenkya: Does the officers in the registrar of titles participating?
Nantaba: Yes. The registrar of titles, especially the commissioner-land registration has excessive powers.

When you look at the Registration of Titles Act (RTA), they have more powers, which they end up abusing. So they are directly involved in issuing these fraudulent land titles. It is to them you complain and it is upon them to amend the register and when he detects this fraud and refuses to amend the register that means he is directly involved.

Byenkya: Do you think that this office, apart from the powers that they have, the question of legal liability for the actions that they take the legal framework holds them liable for their actions?
Nantaba: No. The RTA for instance gives them power to register. Section 175 of the RTA gives the registrar of titles excessive powers and Section 181, whatever they do during the process, they are not held liable, they even have powers to amend the register without prior consultation of courts of law. Any time they can cancel out an entry, they can enter, and I actually recommend that there is need to review the RTA because it gives excessive powers without holding them accountable for their actions.
Byenkya: Next issue.

Nantaba: The next issue is on the drivers of land disputes. During the committee’s operation, we had to work with institutions like police, courts of law, local governments, officers in the administrator general’s office, district land boards, offices of lands, and many institutions involved in the registration of land processes.

We realised that one of the drivers is the involvement of the institutions that are supposed to be helping in executing the mandates in the land related laws.
Police for instance, we realised that police aides and abets evictions. I will give a scenario in Kayunga where one landlord acquired land in 2008 through fraudulent means. Land was occupied by more than 1,000 people and he swings in with police escorted by the army.

They start assaulting these tenants who were legal occupants, they arrested them, imprisoned them, those who were hesitant and resisting eviction were dragged to courts of law and criminal offences were preferred against them instead of civil cases.
Someone is accused of stealing goats, hitting a cow because they had to bring in as more cows as possible to destroy their crops, demolished their houses, burnt some and some are even still in prison for more than seven years now. And I would want to escort this commission to these prisons and you see these prisoners.
We tried as a committee to rescue as many as possible but many of them are there because they were charged with aggravated robbery. A man who has never touched a gun is charged with aggravated robbery and proving that we would go to courts and listen, but these are people imprisoned before I became chairperson of the committee.

Byenkya: In the case of Kayunga, was there a court order involved?
Nantaba: No court order, even the title was still in the process of being acquired because at this time registrars had started changing details on the title and this man says “I am the owner of this land”, but the landlord is there and these people know him and during this scuffle, both the landlord and the masquerader are in court but evictions are happening on ground.
When others are thrown in courts and in prisons and assaulted, the rest on ground are intimidated and end up leaving even before suffering what the others have faced. The involvement of police in aiding these land grabbers fuels land disputes because they side with others and leave the other party to suffer.

Some of us leaders in connivance with the offices of the RDCs, we also side with some parties and don’t listen to others; sometimes we are bribed. I saw bribes coming daily, “Nantaba get this and shut up, leave the rest to me to handle.”
So you either shut up by a bribe or you fear the person who is evicting because of his position in the army, police, in government, whether he is a minister, the position he is attached to, you just keep your hands off. So you keep quiet as he is evicting people.
Byenkya: Most of these evictions are carried out by highly placed people in various government agencies?

Nantaba: Absolutely. The kind of generals in the army, big people in police, sometimes us ministers, there was a time when I had to face my very Attorney General then, he was attempting to evict some people and I am the chairperson of the committee on illegal land evictions and he is supposed to cover me up in case of any litigation and I am telling him to not evict the people and he is supposed to cover me up in court. This is the level at which sometimes people back off and keep quiet and leave the peasants to suffer because of the person involved and the position he holds in government.
Byenkya: What was the relationship between the committee and other land disputes mechanisms such as courts of law? What laws were you supposed to use under your mandate?
Nantaba: At one time we had to suspend the operations of the committee for lack of a legal framework within which the committee was supposed to operate and at that time I was sued in my individual capacity as Nantaba and not as minister or chairperson of the committee.

This happened several times to an extent that cases were decided against me and I have lost salary to that effect to a tune of more than Shs100 million because myself and the Attorney General, things were sore. I intervened in a case where he was involved, stopping him from evictions and, therefore, there was no any representation in courts of law.
The office which was supposed to cover up neglected us and sometimes we would receive injunctions stopping us from visiting a locus like a case in Mubende. We wrote to the RDC that we were visiting an area and this man rushed to court to stop us from visiting and we were stopped and surprisingly he applied for costs and government could pay damages.

 

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Livelihood

Trauma and Land Loss: New Study Focuses on Mental Health of Evicted Indigenous People

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Kenyan security forces evict Ogiek people from the Mau Forest Complex in the  Rift Valley Region.

NAIROBI – At the foot of Kenya’s Mount Elgon on the border of Kenya and Uganda, the little-known indigenous community of Ogiek is living scattered in recently-built thatched huts and timber houses that belie not only their poverty but also the impermanence that followed their eviction by the government a year ago from their native lands on the mountain.

From a life in the forest, this community of just over 50,000 people can no longer access their land to hunt small game, gather wild fruits and medicinal herbs or practice beekeeping, as their forefathers did.

They have instead been forced to eke out a living through subsistence farming and keeping livestock – a lifestyle borrowed from agrarian communities. As such, they are unable to afford school fees and sometimes even sufficient food for their children.

The Ogiek community has been fighting a longstanding battle with the Kenyan government which claims that the evictions were necessary to conserve indigenous forests.

However, Daniel Kobei, the executive director of the Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program (OPDP), blames the evictions on the destruction of the forest by multinational companies and uncontrolled encroachment in the Mau Forest Complex. The OPDP is a Kenya-based NGO that promotes the recognition and identity of the Ogiek indigenous community and its culture.

As recently as July 2020, the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) personnel, with protection from the country’s security forces, have been driving the eviction process in defiance of a 2017 ruling of the African Court of Human and People’s Rights which recognised the Ogiek peoples’ right to their ancestral land, by evicting the community.

The community now finds itself thrust into an unfamiliar environment with their way of life grievously disrupted, making it difficult for them to cope – financially and emotionally.

Little Attention to Mental Strain of Evictions

Ogiek community members ponder on what to do next following their eviction from the Mau Forest Complex by Kenyan security forces.

While some local Kenyan and international groups have protested the evictions, the stress and mental health effects of the displacement have received little attention.

“When we talk about environmental changes, we often ignore the mental aspect that comes with it,” noted Billy Rwothungeyo of the Minority Rights Group International (MRG) told Health Policy Watch.

MRG is a human rights organisation that works to secure the rights of marginalized and indigenous communities around the world. It works in 150 countries, with its Africa office based in Kampala. It has a presence in Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Congo, Gambia, Ethiopia, Tunisia, and Egypt.

New Global Research Initiative Examines Mental Health Stress of Indigenous Communities

The Ogiek people are part of a new research initiative that will look into the mental strain faced by indigenous communities around the world facing evictions.

Indigenous communities in East Africa, Finland, Northern Thailand and India will participate in the global research project that looks at the emotional effects of environmental changes experienced by the world’s indigenous groups.

Dubbed Land Body Ecologies Research Group, the research will involve the Ogiek, the Batwa in Uganda, the Sámi in Finland, and the Pgak’yau in Northern Thailand. Communities living in the buffer zones of the Bannerghatta National Park in India will also take part.

The two-year research project, due to start in October, will involve human rights activists, mental health researchers, scientists and artists in a bid to understand solastalgia, a phenomenon defined as the emotional or existential suffering caused by environmental change. It is also commonly described as “the feeling of homesickness while still at home.”

Funded by the  Wellcome Trust Hub Award, the initiative will be led by Invisible Flock, an award-winning interactive arts studio based in London and MRG. The final project will take the form of an art exhibition in London.

“The space will be used to showcase results from the project, which will be open to the public, academics, media and other stakeholders,” explains Rwothungeyo.

“With around half of the world’s languages having no written form, art can act as a vehicle to bring forward alternative modes of expression not limited to human speech,” according to Victoria Pratt, artist and creative director of Invisible Flock in a press release

Pratt said that their approach is to tell multiple global stories at once, with the hope that through this process, solutions, answers, and meanings would be collectively conjured in the act of listening and retelling.

Indigenous Communities Continue to Lose Land.

A hut belonging to one of the Ogiek community members still smouldering following evictions carried out by the Kenyan security forces.

Indigenous communities all over the world have lost and continue to lose their ancestral lands due to encroachment from other communities and state-sanctioned evictions under the guise of forest conservation. This has brought with it environmental changes, which indigenous communities have had to live with, but whose mental and psychological toll is still not well understood, hence this new research effort.

To make matters worse, the minority groups say the global call to turn 30% of the world’s surface into protected areas by 2030 will displace hundreds of millions of indigenous peoples and traditional landowners.

Through the solastalgia research, the team aims to understand the lived experiences of land trauma on marginalised and indigenous communities.

Added to the food insecurities caused by environmental changes, indigenous communities also suffer increased incidence of diseases such as malaria, malnutrition, stomach disorders and respiratory diseases.

Involve Indigenous Communities More

“This research is supposed to inform such stakeholders as government and civil society to come up with more targeted measures to help marginalized communities, who are often overlooked in public policy,” added Rwothungeyo, maintaining that the study will also shed light on how these communities are being left behind and why governments should involve them more.

The OPDP’s Kobei said that even though the core objective of the research is to understand the mental predicament of indigenous communities brought on by environmental changes, they were hopeful that a learning center for the Ogiek culture will be established, following this study.

“If you talk to a 70-year-old Ogiek about the forest they have lost, he will talk in a very emotional manner,” said Kobei. “He will tell you of the kind of honey we used to harvest in the forest that is no more, the kind of hunting we used to undertake in the forest that is no more, the kind of herbs and clean water we used to get in the forest that are no more.”

Image Credits: Ogiek Peoples Development Program.

Original Source: Healthpolicy-watch.news

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Livelihood

How politically connected individuals abuse their powers to grab land for poor communities; a case of a Ugandan presidential aide

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Mrs. Grace Majoro Kabayo, (standing in the middle) in a meeting that was blocked by residents.

By witnessradio.org Team

As the demand for land for land based investments soars, the middleman’s role in the unlawful land transactions between investors and government agencies remains crucial in the broader scheme. The middleman business has become a lucrative venture in Uganda; more people are being recruited into it. For a public servant with access to vital information from land registries, the business is a goldmine. Middlemen are grabbing land for investors.

From the stage of land grabbing to investing, middlemen resort to the use of violence orchestrated by both police and other security agencies; at this point, high levels of impunity are exhibited, land rights defenders and land owners who demand for justice are then arrested for non-existent offences.

Witness Radio – Uganda records show that a reasonable percentage of grabbed land from poor communities in the country have for instance remained undeveloped.

In Mubende District, Central Uganda, residents accuse Mrs. Grace Majoro Kabayo a Senior Presidential Advisor for using her position to fraudulently acquire their land using police and officials from the Ministry of Lands. Ironically, Kabayo advises the President of Uganda on Pan-Africanism, and doubles as the Executive Secretary of the Pan African Women Organization’s PAWO Eastern Africa chapter, where she oversees the organization’s day-to-day activities.

Mubende District according to Witness Radio – Uganda figures, is ranked as one of the districts with the highest incidents of forced and illegal evictions and has registered with more than five cases since the year 2021 started.

Mubende District is bordered by Kyankwanzi District to the north, Kiboga District, Kassanda to the northeast and Mityana District to the east. Gomba district and Sembabule District lie to the south, whereas Kyegegwa District to the southwest and Kibaale District to the northwest.

Mrs. Kabayo with her political influence is allegedly using survey and boundary opening tactics to grab 625 Ha of land for thousands of inhabitants, which she has never lived on or owned.

According to locals, this is not the first time for the presidential advisor to engage into land grabbing, in 2017 while accompanied by the police in Mubende, she forcefully surveyed and grabbed 20 square miles and now wants to expand.

It is anticipated if Kabayo succeeds with the land grab, more than 5000 people on five villages comprising Kattambogo A, Kattambogo B, Rwobushumi, Rwonkubi and Nyaruteete, in Kigando-Buwekula Sub County in Mubende district, will lose their livelihood.

A letter dated 29th March, 2021, signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs. Docus Okalanyi which Witness Radio – Uganda obtained a copy, okayed the move by the president’s advisor to open boundaries on land located at block 379 and all adjacent blocks which include: 378, 380 and 381 a process which the residents opposed.

Without any prior notice to the residents, Kabayo accompanied by the officers from Ministry of Lands, State House officials, and security personnel for the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) and Uganda Police had planned to conduct a rally at Nyarutete, one of the 5 villages, but was blocked by the angry residents.

Mr. Ruzhoga Laurent, 53, a resident of the village from birth, said, they have been facing threats of forced evictions for the last three years by Kaboyo. He asserted that his family would not leave the land for an imposter. Ruzhoga added that he would only leave as a corpse.

Jordan Byakatonda, an area land committee, chairperson said, the land targeted is public land with people on living on it.

He said, any person who wishes to get a leasehold on public land must first show his or her interest in the land before picking application Form 8 from the District Land Office or Area Land Committee, fill it, and attach 4 passport photos. He stated that the area land committee’s mandate involves receiving applications and issuing notices for public hearings concerning land ownership using Form 10, Byakatonda observed that Kaboyo had not engaged the committee during the process.

Information Sources from Mubende district preferring anonymity for security reasons accused some government officials of manipulating the stated legal procedures and guidelines. “Everything is coming from the center (ministry) instead of starting from an area where the land is located”, said the source.

“The first time we saw her, she was grabbing land and now she has come back to take ours. When she was asked by the land probe committee headed by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire why she had surveyed the land forcibly, she replied that she never surveyed any land and did not know those people,” another villager who preferred anonymity said.

According to guidelines of Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Planning Act, 2010 and Land Act, Cap 227, state that;

Any applicant for a leasehold on the public land must have in his/her possession fully completed form 4,10,19 23, a set of 3 authentic deed plans, 3 passport photographs, receipts of payment and a forwarding letter requesting for a freehold title signed by the District Land officer of the respective district where the land is located.

Step 2

The applicant presents the full set of original documents in duplicate and a photocopy of the same to the department of land administration for checking.

The photocopy is stamped received and returned to the applicant. The applicant checks with the department of land administration after 10 working days to confirm their approval or rejection.

Step 3

Once approved the documents are forwarded to the department of the land registration for issuance of a freehold land title. The applicant checks after 20 working days.

Step 4

The applicant presents the photocopy given to him/her by the department of land administration stamped, received and identification documents on collecting the freehold Title. The applicant signs for the title and the photocopy is stamped returned on completion.

Documents required include; Deed plans, set of passport photographs, general receipts of payment and a requesting letter. Fees paid at the ministry. Registration fees-10,000#, Assurance of the title- 20,000#, issuance of the title-20,000#.

The preliminary steps that involve the Area Land Committee were not complied with by Mrs. Grace Majoro Kabayo as she acquired land that accommodates thousands of people.

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Livelihood

Witness Radio welcomes the World Bank’s intervention into Kawaala drainage channel project affected persons…

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By witnessradio.org Team

Kampala – Uganda – Witness Radio Uganda has welcomed the World Bank’s decision to intervene into its funded project which is dispossessing poor urban dweller at Kawaala Zone II, Lubaga division, Kampala district.

On March 4th, 2021, the World Bank Team held its first ever virtual meeting with other stakeholders including the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) over a forceful implementation Kampala Institution and Infrastructure Development (KIIDP 2) project.

On top of running to court to stop an illegal eviction, the residents through Witness Radio – Uganda lawyers raised a complaint to the World Bank to restrain its grantee (KCCA) from imposing a project they (residents) never participated in from the start.

In 2015, KCCA acquired USD 175 million loan from the World Bank and the International Development Association (IDA) for Kampala Institution and Infrastructure Development (KIIDP) project. However, part of the money (USD 17.5 million, which is 63 billion Uganda shillings) was earmarked to construct Lubigi Primary Channel.

Without following business and human rights standards, KCCA started using tricks aimed dispossessing the poor urban community at Kawaala including; hiding under section 72(1) cap 281 of the Public Health Act, and issued a notice to dwellers to pull down what it termed illegal structures erected on their land or otherwise, KCCA would do so at the cost of residents, just to cause a property loss to them.

In a meeting chaired by Martin Onyach-Olaa, a Task Team Leader, Senior Urban Specialist at the World Bank, faulted KCCA for failing to engage community including taking the contractor to the ground without their notice.

“The project affected community have valid grievances, which must be attended to in the interest of Kawaala project” Said Onyach-Olaa

The representatives from the affected community accused KCCA of intimidation, undertaking a forceful survey, sidelining and usurping powers of elected local leaders, extortion and undermining business and human rights standards before and during the implementation of the World Bank project.

“I was threatened and forced to participate in KCCA valuation exercise of my properties and I never understood what was done. I was even lured to sign on certain documents that were in a language they never explained and no copy was left with me. I am opposed to the KCCA’s working and I will not allow them to come back on my property: Said Segue Abbas.

He added that when he sought wise counsel from his lawyers, he just realized that he had been duped.

Among other recommendations, KCCA was advised to embark on an inclusive exercise to identity project affected persons, properties to be affected by the project and ensure that surveys and property valuation exercises are undertaken in accordance within the law.

About the Grievance Redress Committee the KCCA claims they elected, the World Bank saw it important that the Grievance Redress Committee be put in place with a complaint book and functional internal appeal mechanism.

It was further emphasized that no Kawaala resident will be forcefully lose his/her under a project being funded by the World Bank.

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