Mityana- Former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye at the weekend launched his land sensitisation campaign in Mityana Town where he advised residents to be united and fight land grabbers.
While addressing a rally at Mityana Sazza grounds, Dr Besigye said land grabbing and displacement of large numbers of poor Ugandans has turned into ‘a serious national security problem that needs urgent attention’.
“You must know that land is your security. Without land you cannot be regarded as a Ugandan because it is the valuable asset you have. If we are not vigilant, much of your land will end up under the control of the privileged few,” he said.
Early this year, Dr Besigye launched a campaign against land grabbing dubbed “my land, my life,” but police have on several occasions blocked his meetings, the latest being one he organised in Nakaseke District early this month where police intercepted him at Timuna village 15 kilometers to the planned venue.
The Nakaseke District police commander, Mr Justus Asiimwe, said the meeting was illegal because Dr Besigye didn’t specify his motives and plans.
Speaking to Daily Monitor, Mityana District police commander Emmanuel Mafunda, said they (police) did not block Dr Besigye this time round because he followed the set guidelines for organising a public gathering.
“ He (Besigye) informed us in time as required by law and we were able to provide him with security. I hope he does that wherever he goes than causing unnecessary commotion,” he said. As a way forward to curb land conflicts, Dr Besigye asked law enforcement bodies and the Judiciary to implement existing relevant land laws and also safeguard the rights of the citizens .
“Mr Museveni must establish a judicial inquiry into accusations of land grabbing and fraudulent behaviour by State officials in respect to land acquisitions. These proceedings must be conducted with a view of land restitution and victim compensation,” Dr Besigye said.
He also urged supporters not to relent in their push for regime change, defending that all signals show that change is soon coming.
“Please remain focused, don’t get tired… We have moved from far and the struggle is yet to come to an end,” he noted.
Six years ago, Parliament passed the Land Amendment Act 2010 which government said was to protect tenants from illegal evictions.
However, Buganda Kingdom strongly opposed the legislation, saying a new law was uncalled for since there were already existing laws which government had failed to enforce.
The law gives tenants more rights to resist eviction by landlords.
According to the law, land lords need a court order to evict tenants and must notify them before selling their land but some of these conditions are never followed and many tenants are being pushed off their land without court orders and due compensation.