Around the world, huge tracts of fertile land are being sold or rented at extremely low prices to produce food for export or bio-fuel, to extract resources or to resell the land on the financial market, like any other commodity. This action is severely threatening the environment, food sovereignty and the very lives of local communities.
It is now more than a decade that Ugandan communities are facing the challenge of land grabbing and land conflicts. Unlike in Ethiopia and Tanzania, in Ugandan land grabbing is less evident (no massive land eviction or flights with armed groups) but is taking different forms. In Ssi Sub-county in Buikwe district, the land under conflict covers an area called Nkakwa and has over 280 residents that are being evicted from their farming plots by the various stakeholders.
The RDC addressing the citizens about their land issues.
According to the hearing in the Residential District Commissioner’s office yesterday, the land lord earlier in 2012 laid four possibilities for the residents are supposed to pick on which are – Either a resident buys the land on which he/she is settled or Sells the plot to the land load and evacuate or those with more than one plots on this land accept to give away some of their plots to the land load and he gives them land tittles for the rest of the plots they own as a compensation and the fourth category are those ready and willing to pay the tenant fee to the land lords for the plots on which they reside a term all tenants agreed with then. However, trouble popped in when this agreement was eventually drifted off by the land load ‘’says the tenants’’ and instead he resorted to accounting for their property in a way that indicated unlawful compensation other than the agreement.
This triggered for a peaceful match of more than 65 people from the Nkakwa, Kisigula and several nearby villages of Ssi sub-county led by Mr. Konde Joseph to the district headquarters of Buikwe. The match was aimed at meeting the Residential district commissioner Buikwe district Mr. Bamwine Fred to help comedown the situation and save farmers from being evacuated.
The RCD offered to write an official letter to the Commissioner lands to inquire on behalf on the tenants for the right owner of this land after the farmers exposed their mistrust in the current land lord. He agreed to appoint a representative from his office to attend the meetings organized to agree on the four options above and lastly he will visit the community on 24th January at 11:00am to visit the land under conflict and meeting the land lords. He also promised to go with the documents he will have acquired from the commissioner lands in order to read it to the tenants and finally ordered that until that date, no one is allowed to threaten another parson on issues in regards to this land.
Citizens at Buikwe District Headquarters after the match.