By Mary Karugaba
Ugandans in diaspora have expressed concern over increased cased of land grabbing back home.
Meeting the Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa, Henrietta Wamala the President of Uganda North America Association (UNAA) complained that most people who lose their properties especially land to fraudsters and grabbers have failed to get assistance from the Ministry of Lands whenever they make requests.
She said that UNAA is stuck with many cases of Ugandans in North America who seek for assistance in solving such issues back home.
“We have become victims because we cannot travel to Uganda so often to go and check on our properties, to go and check on our lands and people think they can make use of that to take properties from us. Unfortunately, I tried so much to get an appointment from the Ministry of land and I have not been successful. They either have decided not to talk to us and that is why we’re bringing the issue to you.” Wamala stated.
According to Wamala, one of the victims called Juliet Nabasirye recently died in the US after her land was grabbed. UNAA’s effort to get assistance from the Ministry to stop the illegal transaction failed, according to Wamala.
She also named two other victims as Fr John Bosco Musinguzi and Evelyn Balade who have not got assistance from government in Kampala.
Balade in her case is required to travel to Uganda every time there is a court sitting because her land in one of the estates was sold off by people she had earlier transacted with.
“These are issues that we are living with. We go and work so hard for our money. The government begs us to come back home and invest but we are not protected. How are we going to convince our fellow diaspora that it is safe to go and invest at home when we are not being protected by the Government? This is something that I thought we need to have a discussion upon” Wamala said.
Tayebwa assured them that Parliament will work with Government to sort out issues of land grabbing that has affected their investments back in Uganda.
“From here I am going to call the State Minister of Lands Sam Mayanja in my Office. We shall hold a zoom meeting and I will see how he dodges you. This is a very challenging issue. Even me they cheat me in Kampala. Someone went and occupied my apartment in Mbuya. He got a court order and now I am out. If I touch him, they say I have abused my power. I saw the President complaining that someone had stolen his land in Kisozi,” Tayebwa assured UNAA.