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Kaliro Family Loses 132 Acres of Land

The family-owned close to 200 acres of land in Buwangala village, Namawa parish, Namaikoke Sub County in Wakiso district.
03 May 2019 10:49

Audio 3

A family in Kaliro district has lost over 132 acres of land.

The family-owned close to 200 acres of land in Buwangala village, Namawa parish, Namaikoke Sub County.

John Kunya, the family’s customary heir told the Commission of Inquiry into land matters on Thursday that in 2017, Samuel Babalanda claimed ownership of their land.      

Babalanda claims he had purchased the land from Salim Kunya Wako, Base Naisiki and Kasifa Bwire. Upon purchasing the land, Kunya explains, Babalanda forcefully took possession destroying crops belonging to over 100 settlers.

Kunya acquired the land from his father Nekomeya Muwangala who died in 2008.

//Cue in: “Oweekitiibwa…”

Cue out: “…kintu kyona kyona”//

Kunya told the Commission that they reported the matter to the sub-county chief of the Balamoogi clan, Henry Wako who at first declared the land theirs but later changed his judgement and ruled in favour of the trio that sold to Babalanda. 

Kunya says that the three purported sellers are clan members but not his family members entitled to the land. He does not know how the trio acquired land titles.

Wako wrote a letter to the District Land Office of Kaliro District introducing and recommending the trio as the legitimate owners of the land.

//Cue in “Alina ekyitiibwa…”

Cue out: “…omulundi ogwookubiri”//

Kunya says that they later wrote to the head of Balamoogi clan, Sabalangura Samuel Naigobya who issued them a letter recognizing them as owners of the land. Kunya says that they presented the letter to the lands office as proof of ownership to the land. 

They hoped that with the letter, they could stop the transfer of land to Babalanda.

 However, the letter was rejected by the lands office and land allocated to Babalanda. 

The commission noted that perhaps the letter was not given attention partly because there is no law that provides for recognition of processes of traditional judicial system.

Commissioner Mary Ochan asked Kunya if he is satisfied with how the traditional justice system operates. Although his family had lost that much land, Kunya said that the system was good but being abused by people like Henry Wako.

When asked to explain why they chose traditional judicial system rather than the courts of law, he said it was a clan matter.

  //Cue in: “Mukulu omulamuzi…”

Cue out: “…gaagya okutuwa”//  

The commission also learnt from the witness that the family does not possess a land title to the land nor do they have letters of administration. Kunya says they started the process of acquiring letters of administration after the conflict over land started.

Commissioner Ochan asked why they had to consult the clan head before they get their land title and what would happen in case the clan head opposed titling the land.

He insisted that the clan head is their leader and needs to approve their dealings on the land.

    

The commission chairperson Justice Catherine Bamugemereire advised the family to have their land surveyed and titled as a way of protecting it from land grabbers.