By Abou Kisige
AMURU - The locals in the northern Uganda district of Amuru district in Uganda have vowed to fight land grabbers who evict vulnerable people from their land illegally.
The district chairperson Anthony Atubo, who led the residents, said land is life and nobody can live comfortably without it.
“Land is a major factor in the wellbeing of people, but unscrupulous developers are forcefully grabbing land from locals using their powerful positions,” he said.
The area leader was launching a mobile legal aid clinic on land and gender issues in Acholi and Lango sub-regions at Lamogi sub-county headquarters in Amuru district earlier this week.
The week-long legal clinic which is organized by ActionAid International-Uganda in conjunction with Legal Aid Service Providers Network (LASPNET) – a consortium of legal experts – is traversing Amuru, Pader and Nwoya districts.
According to figures available at the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Amuru and Nwoya districts have vast and very fertile land but 90% of the land is idle and unutilized.
On his part, Atubo said residents had lost patience in government institutions like the police because, he said, they connive with businessmen, politicians and big shots in government to make the locals suffer.
“Evicting people from their land will soon cause bloodshed. People should stop acts of land grabbing immediately. This country belongs to every one of which they are entitled to freedom of rights.”
He said he is ready to face the courts of law while fighting for the rights of poor Ugandans and called on residents to avoid temperament tendencies while fighting for their land.
ActionAid programs officer for governance, Timothy Kabaale said they want to help land grabbing victims access justice. PHOTO/Abou Kisige
ActionAid programs officer for governance, Timothy Kabaale, said their aim is to provide a community-based centralized platform to access justice for victims of land grabbing especially women, children and resolving land disputes.
“We want to contribute to access to justice in a wider context by enhancing property ownership and access rights contribute to the gender component of ActionAid programming and land grabbing campaign.”
Berna Bakidde, the program manager of LASPNET also shared his thoughts.
He said the intervention of the partnership of ActionAid International Uganda (AAIU) and LASPNET during the legal clinic is cognizant of the existing laws like the land Act of 1998, the 2010 amendment and the recently passed national land policy.
“We are sensitizing and disseminating information through existing community structures like meetings and dialogues, radio spot messages and radio talk shows among others,” said Bakidde.
The LASPNET comprises the Federation of Women Lawyers, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, experts in Paralegal Advisory Services, Justice for Children and Justice and Rights Association among others.