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WITNESS RADIO MILESTONES Intervention Reveals Worrying Land Grabbing Crisis in Mubende 



An investigation report by has found that the Mubende district located in the Central region of Uganda is in grip of land-grabbing crisis that has seen over 14,600 peasant and subsistence farmers losing their land to agribusiness big companies.

The details of the study reveal a roller coaster of violations meted against victims of land-grabs in their thousands orchestrated by the oppressors particularly two tree-planting companies; Quality Parts Ltd Formasa and Co. Limited.

The violations, according to the report range from duress, intimidation, fraud, terror, and forceful eviction from disputed land.

To elaborate the violations, the report says the oppressors cut down, slash and destroyed the crops of the victims on top of perpetrating a systematic campaign of violence and threats of violence including the beating up and terrorizing of the same victims.

The said companies, are followed by some moneyed individuals such as Samuel Bivanju, Henry Kalemera Kimera, a man claims to be the grandson of Ssekabaka Daudi Chwa of Buganda Kingdom, among others in tormenting carrying out massive evictions of subsistence farmers from their ancestral land without compensation.

Bivanju, a self-proclaimed land lord is claiming ownership of 408.7o hectares covering two parishes;  Kanyogoga and Kisagazi parishes, Butoloogo sub-county, Buwekula County, with eight 8 villages including; Lwebaga, Kanyogoga, Kifumbira, Kyakajja and Kawolo, Kisagazi, Kanabugoma, Terekero.

a grieved resident holding stems of slashed plantationsAccording to findings by approximately 300 homesteads with 1600 people are at the verge of being evicted and forcibly from the land on which they have lived for the last 29 years.

Of these victims, over 450 are women, 390 men and with 760 children, according to report.

Despite his claim that he owns the land that he sold to Francis Katabarwa, the available documents reveals that the disputed land is public land with attempts by Bivanju to turn it into a private mailo freehold land through use of certain civil servants charged with handling land matters from local, district and national level.

On the other hand, two big tree-planting companies; Quality Parts Ltd Formasa and Co. Limited are involved in a land conflict in the other side of Buwekula County in the same Mubende district.

These companies evicted at least  3,000 people from  Butolo, Kaswa, and Nakasozi villages in Naluwondwa Parish; Namayindi, Kisiigwa, Bikonyi, Mukiguluka, Busaabala and Kendikyo in Kakenzi Parish, Madudu Sub-County, Buwekula, County; and Kicucuulo village, Kasolo-Kamponye Parish, Butoloogo Sub-County.

According to the report, the victims owned crops like like cassava, beans, maize, banana plantations, coffee, and other agricultural products like domestic animals including herds of cattle, pigs, goats, among others of which peasants would also sell to earn some money.

On average, families could earn between Shs 2m-10m per season depending on the prevailing circumstances vis-à-vis individuals’ efforts invested in working, the reports says.

The land also had a number of vital social amenities whose loss made a tremendous negative impact on the community.

There were four schools namely; Kifumbira Primary School, Kanyogoga Millennium Primary School, Katibenda Primary School and infants’ School, all privately-owned and Kanyogoga Health Center II which is a government-run one.

Also, the government built a grilling-mill factory for residents such that they could use it to add value to their maize and also make posho for their own consumption.

These villages also had 12 water sources from which residents could fetch water for themselves and their animals.

Another worrying case involves 10,000 residents of seven villages who were found stranded after their self-proclaimed land lord gave them only seven days to vacate the land measuring 2 ½ square-miles.

RDC mubende in the meeting

In this particular case, villages; Lwentuwa, Kamusenene, Nkoma, Kilerwe, Musozi, Kitayiza A and Kitayiza B, in Lwentuwa, Kamusenene, Nkokoma, Kilerwe, Musozi, Kitayiza A and Kitayiza B all in Kamusenene parish, Kiganda Sub-County, Mubende district, Stella Kakuba is said to have connived with Emmanuel Ssempala, the Clerk, Mubende district land board to forge a certificate of title of the said land.

It took the intervention of the Resident District Commissioner, Mubende district Florence Beyunga to halt the intended plan by the fake landlord to end 70-year tenure of occupation by the residents turned victims of land grabbing.


An observation in this report by is that forging of the certificate of land titles by the self-proclaimed landlords with help of callous civil servants is increasingly outstanding.

The most unfortunate aspect in the study is that residents are so worried asserting that some of them are unsure of what the future holds for them because they have lived their entire life on the disputed pieces of land thus having nowhere else to call home.

Reporting and editing by Deo Walusimbi




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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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