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Kikuube residents faulted for aiding land grabbing

Local communities and covetous government servants have been singled out as being frontline agents in accelerating the widespread land grabbing that is leaving many peasant farmers forcibly driven off their land that they have been managing for generations in Kikuube District.

Mr Achilles Akweteireho, the Kabwoya Sub-county Local Government Secretary for Lands in Kikuube district, said this while responding to community complaints about inter alia land grabbing in the area during a community and stakeholders’ meeting organised by Hoima Caritas Development Organisation (HOCADEO) – a non-government organisation under Hoima Catholic Diocese.

He said during the meeting that sat at Ndongo village in Kaseeta parish, Kabwoya sub-county that there are some freebooters among community members who machinate with grabbers, leaving many people, especially those at a peasantry level, losing their pieces of land in the sub-county.

He wondered that people’s legitimate land rights are not protected by some of their own community members and leaders who would otherwise shield them against loss of their arable land.

The politician added that Kaseeta is the most affected parish in Kikuube district where many people have reportedly been left landless after falling easy prey to schemers for personal opportunistic gains.

“No, the fact is that sometimes we people complain about land grabbing within our communities when we are the very people who aid it amongst ourselves,” he said.

The politician translated this scenario into ignorance about land titling in which some completely fail to acquire titles for their land or acquire them through illegal land titling perpetrators.

During the same meeting, Mr Swalleh Rumbiiha, a resident of Ndongo village, blamed the residents’ failure to process, acquire and title their land on the lack of a well-built financial muscle.

A section of residents attend a community, stakeholders’ meeting organised by Hoima Caritas Development Organisation (HOCADEO) at Ndongo Village, Kabwoya Sub-county in Kikuube District. (Image: Joseph Uzelle/Kazi-njema News)
He urged the government to bail out the residents through declaring a discount on land registration funds.

While speaking at the same meeting, the Kikuube District Vice Chairman, Mr Vincent Alpha Opio, said that the district has been granted more than 80 land titles and it is waiting to receive surveyors to start land registration for the indicated beneficiaries.

However, Kaseeta, Nkondo, Kasonga and Buhuka parishes and Buhimba town council are not among the beneficiary administrative units.

In the face of this, Mr Opio said that Kikuube District Council has petitioned the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands requesting that land titles should be given to all parishes in the district.

Audio: Opio on land titles (Runyoro/Rutooro)
Ms Jennifer Baitwamasa, the Administrator at Navigators of Development Association (NAVODA), who, too, attended the meeting urged the communities to always abide by the land laws and Acts in processes of acquiring land titles.

“The fact is that everyone wants a land title for their land. But all we need to take care of is following the right steps to acquire land titles. Titling lands takes a process,” she said.

Mr Victor Akugizibwe, the Project Coordinator at HOCADEO, called for partnership between communities and district stakeholders to address the escalating land challenges in the community.

The project is implemented within the three oil and gas host districts of Hoima, Kikuube and Buliisa.

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