Residents of Kiryandongo district have asked government to come to their rescue and also apprehend all individuals behind land grabbing activities in their area involving higher cases of human rights violations.
At the launch of the report titled ‘Land Grabs at Gunpoint’ by three Non-Governmental organizations in Kampala, evicted Kiryandongo residents have asked Government to intervene in their land issues as soon as possible.
David Isingoma, the chairperson of IDP Camp Kiryandongo, revealed that they have tried to reach out to various offices for help but no positive results have been yielded due to a number of factors.
“Corruption has been the main barrier which has affected the fight for regaining of our freedom. Humanity is no more because people prefer money to people’s lives,” Isingoma said.
Lucy Auma, one of the women who were evicted, says her worry is that many of her colleagues who remained homeless have suffered with a number of injustices including rape which has introduced them to Sexually Transmitted Infections and unwanted pregnancies.
“Many of our colleagues have died because of these STIs due to lack of treatment. Many have given birth to helpless children who have increased their suffering,” Auma retorted.
She asked government to intervene and help them because every day that passes, they face more difficulties in life.
Eron Kiiza, a human rights lawyer who has been at the fore front of defending the rights of evicted individuals, pointed out that the oppressors of the people have been fighting tooth and nail to regain this land which has led to threats and arrest of various individuals.
“Human right defenders and journalists who go to Kiryandongo risk their lives as well as arrest as it was done to some of our lawyers recently,” Kiiza stated.
Godfrey Wokulira Ssebagala, the Executive Director of Witness Radio Uganda asked Parliament to institute an independent Commission to investigate crimes originating from illegal eviction of people in Kiryandongo district.
“Government should guarantee land security through issuing land titles as certificates of land ownership to all occupants cultivating and residing on the land,” he argued.
That these titles should be updated in the National Land Information Registry providing a great opportunity to reduce land wrangles.
This report was conducted by three Non-Governmental organizations; Witness Radio – Uganda, Africa Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) and GRAIN.
The report pointed out that citizens were evicted from their land by three multinational companies with an intention of growing sugar cane with the help of armed personnel from a number of government security agencies.