13 December 2018

Uganda: Form Groups to Fight Land Grabbers, Museveni Tells Squatters

Kampala — President Museveni has urged squatters to form associations and fight through courts the rampart land grabbing.

"Go and make groups of squatters, make bibanja associations and fight land grabbers in court. I have brought my lawyer Florence Kiconco to help you. You do not have money to hire a lawyer," Mr Museveni said on Tuesday in Mityana District while addressing squatters who lost their land.

Ms Kiconco is the senior presidential adviser on legal matters.

The President also promised to hire more lawyers if work became too much for Ms Kiconco.

"If you get any problem with court orders, inform [Abraham] Luwalira who will tell Kiconco so that she can report those errant magistrates and judges to the Chief Justice for appropriate action," Mr Museveni said.

Mr Luwalira is the LCI chairperson of Nakwaya Village, Wabinyira Sub-county in Mityana District.

He has been at the forefront in the fight against land grabbing in the district.

The President tasked Mr Luwalira to mobilise affected squatters into associations and promised to give him a double cabin pick-up truck to help him move about.

The President described landlords who are evicting squatters as arrogant.

He said the law recognises four types of squatters; those brought by landlords, those who settled on the land without knowledge of the landlords before 1983, those who bought or inherited the land from the latter two or those who spent 12 years on the land uninterrupted.

Squatters accused magistrates, judges, police officers and Gombolola chiefs for aiding land grabbing.

In response, the President said: "People who have bought their Mailo land should not concern you. They bought papers (land titles), me am on the ground. Let them not threaten you."

"If judicial officers are disturbing you, report them to Kiconco, I will deal with the policemen and Gombolola chiefs," he added.

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