By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister Judith Nabakooba has intervened in the looming land wrangles in two villages in the Wakiso district. The land is 1square mile on block number 49 Plot 165 in Kibujjo and Kagoma Villages in Wakiso District.
Locals say Hussein Male and Aisha Kayongo claim ownership of the land but according to documents, it belongs to Nalinya Nalumansi.
Residents of the two villages who were led by Atanansi Lufuma and Yona Kukiriza, their Chairpersons LC1 of Kibujjo and Kagoma villages respectively claimed that the two people in question are tough and have police protection each time they come on the ground.
“We already went to the RDC and weren’t helped. Even when we go to the police officers, they don’t help us since they are always with Aisha and Male. We the LC1 chairpersons don’t have the power to interface with these people, we only request you, Minister, to kindly get the time and call Nalinya and these other people who claim ownership of this land so we know who the rightful owner is,” Atanansi said.
Yona Kukiriza also brought to the attention of the minister that some of the farms of his people have been destroyed and others have been fenced off with barbed wire and owners can’t access them. He says Aisha Kayongo comes with security wielding guns and they threaten locals to give out their land lest losing their lives.
“The wanainchi are suffering because of the people in big offices who come to steal their land and provided security by forces.”
Tenants in the two villages seek to know the genuine landlords to enable them to pay their Busuulu because if they don’t know the genuine landlords, they end up being chased every other day.
Nabakooba who went on ground in the two villages on September 3, told them to guard their bibanja jealously especially those that fall under the category of bona fide and lawful.
“The law is very clear, willing buyer, willing seller, people are not supposed to be forced to give away their bibanja. It has to be a process of negotiations and without that, it cannot be done using force,” Nabakooba said.
She added that the law further stipulates that no one is supposed to use force to take someone’s kibanja and if it is land-sharing it is supposed to be done through dialogue not use of force.
The minister was concerned by the fact that landlords feel they can take the law into their hands because they think they have land but retaliated that the law must work since it has never been changed.
“If it talks about busuulu, that is it. Good enough His Excellency guided us that we should make a provision in our Land Act to enable the bibanja owners to pay busuulu to the Local Government headquarters in case landlords try to dodge them and that is what we are going to pursue in our amendments,” she shared.
She tasked the local authorities to develop registers of the bibanja owners on the land so that they can know who is where their landlord and their neighbours.
Directing them to immediately scrap off the barbed wires from their land since there was no court order to that effect, the minister also asked the local leaders to fight for their people to retain their land saying there is no authorisation given to a landlord to evict a Kibanja owner.
“Don’t fear and have one voice, if you are fighting for what is yours be confident. If you decide to be a team to protect your land, stay that way and move as a group. Don’t get tired of seeking help from the concerned authorities. I wrote to the IGP before coming here when I got the records of this land, I wanted him to collaborate with my office to find out why there were some discrepancies when this land title was being changed,” she noted.
Nabakooba added: “Even if there are actions of breaking the law by the enforcement agencies, we shall also condone them since there is no one above the law. No one has to come here and step on you because you are in the village, Uganda is a country with laws governing it and we hope it is such laws that will help us sort out such problems.”
In her other directives, she directed the District Internal Security Officer (DISO) of Wakiso to work with his people so that gun-wielding operatives and police stop coming to the area to threaten people off their land, something that will make them hate the government.
The Minister said the government is in efforts of streamlining the Land Law whereby if one refuses the busuulu, it is taken to the district and banked there.
“Even in our forms of changing land titles, we are in talks at the ministry to put a provision where if someone is selling they are able to put it in writing if the land they are selling has tenants or not because the form has not been showing if the land title has tenants or not. This will help us strengthen the land laws,” she noted.
Pictorial Of Nabakooba In Wakiso Land Wrangles