- We have seen people who are seemingly wealthy and well educated puzzled about what to do with land grabbers with endless money. What then do we ordinary peasants to do? Unless something is done to put an end to this endless money, Ugandans, especially the ordinary people, are destined for a bleak future.
Land grabbing has become a modus operandi for some individuals in Uganda. Looking at the current appetite of land grabbers and their capacity, I envisage that it will be difficult for victims to ever get land justice in Uganda. It is an emotional topic, but it is one we have to deal with because we are all potential victims of people who have too much money.
It is unfortunate that one can honestly work all his life without stealing a single penny and attain reasonable wealth and standard of education. They even work hard to buy land and develop it to a level where the area starts attracting other people to buy land in the vicinity. Then overnight, somebody wakes up and seeks to buy your land. And when refuse to sell to them your land, they start organising armed people to rob you.
It is indeed a degrading and inhumane treatment considering some people’s sweat and perseverance to develop their land. This situation affects mainly the bibanja holders despite the fact that the President has always called for their protection.
It is even worse where the police, who should be the neutral party and ensure the protection of lives and property, instead get accused of participating in the destruction of people’s properties moreover in the night. Interestingly, I recall seeing a police report stating that a certain land was indeed grabbed by armed men at midnight, but the Force doesn’t know who grabbed it.
This shows how sophisticated land grabbers have become. They openly demonstrate how the too much money they have can perform miracles. For an ordinary Ugandan who may be struggling to even put food on the table, it may be difficult to even think of a court process because of the fear that justice may be robbed from them. Some land grabbers even boast of having the capacity to buy off lawyers of the land victims.
Some land grabbers acquire land after intimidating the owners hence leaving them with no choice, but to sell off their land. After all, those who refuse to sell it often risk losing it to grabbers at no cost. Land in the recent past has gained value hence the high appetite for land grabbing.
Besides, many land grabbers exploit the weaknesses in the judicial system and land offices to obtain fake titles. Some even go ahead to carry out evictions using security personnel without a court order.
The main question should be, how will the ordinary Ugandan get land justice?
We have seen people who are seemingly wealthy and well educated puzzled about what to do with land grabbers with endless money. What then do we ordinary peasants to do? Unless something is done to put an end to this endless money, Ugandans, especially the ordinary people, are destined for a bleak future.
Today, some of us may not be victims, but tomorrow, it maybe us to face similar or even worse land problems. Therefore, I call upon all the relevant authorities to ensure that land justice prevails in Uganda. This is because issues related to land can easily affect the stability and peace in the country.
Patrick Gukiina Musoke,