President Museveni has warned landlords against grabbing land from tenants describing the action as illegal.
The president’s statement followed an appeal by the chairperson of Uganda National War Veterans Association, Mr Edirisa Sseddunga, calling for the president’s intervention to stop landlords from forcing tenants to surrender part of their land to them.
Mr Sseddunga said that the deals have left so many people landless.
The latest wrangles in Luweero involves one Paul Ddiba, a landlord at Kawumu village who is accused of grabbing land belonging to over 100 tenants in the guise of offering them free land titles. Mr Ddiba reportedly owns over 400 acres of land which residents claim he grabbed from them.
Another landlord Swaibu Yiga is also accused of leaving more than 200 families landless after grabbing land covering six villages in Kapeeka Sub County in Nakaseke. Residents claim Mr Yiga coerced them to surrender part of their land to him in exchange for land titles.
President Museveni observed that there is no way a landlord can force a tenant to surrender land without his consent adding that such deals are not provided for in the Constitution and in the Land Act. He said that the landlords have provoked him and those who have grabbed land from tenants will be forced to return it after the Land Commission which he appointed completes its inquiry.
He was speaking during the 28th Heroes Day Celebrations at St Augustine Catholic Parish Grounds in Zirobwe Sub County, Luweero District.
The President who first laid a wreath at the war memorial monument where about 470 human remains of both combatants and civilians who lost lives during the 5year liberation are interred said celebrating the Heroes day may not be a direct reward for those who lost their dear lives but a honor in their memory since the blood was not shade in vain.
“We have the peace for which they shade the blood. We need to teach the young generation this history because they seem not to be keeping track of what is going on. When we stabilized the Country from insurgents, infrastructure development was our next target. This is the reason why we constructed new roads with tarmac and ensured that we have electricity in most of our areas,” he said.
Mr Museveni added “The next step is ensuring that our families have enough food and can generate wealth from projects. This is the main reason why we embarked on the Operation Wealth Creation. We are going to get a juice processing plant for the people of Luweero to ensure value addition for the pineapple crop. We also have a program to establish a coffee making machine at Bukalasa Agriculture College. We should not be buying the coffee we drink from outside yet we grow this coffee in Uganda.”
Luweero District woman MP, Ms Lillian Nakate says that the affected tenants many not know that there are no laws that forces them to surrender land to landlords. She however called for action to stop landlords from forcing tenants to surrender land without negotiation.