The report that was compiled between June 2018 and May 2019 exposes fraud in the purchase of land for the expansion of palm oil project in the two districts. The study analyzed land ownership and transactions related to the National Oil Palm Project in Kalangala and Buvuma districts.
A palm oil garden in Kalangala
A new report by Makerere University Human
Rights and Peace Makerere professors has unearthed illegal land acquisition and
ownership by the National Oil Palm Project in Kalangala and Buvuma
The report that was compiled between June 2018
and May 2019 exposes fraud in the purchase of land for the expansion of palm
oil project in the two districts.
The study analyzed land ownership and
transactions related to the National Oil Palm Project in Kalangala and
It included a detailed assessment of land ownership,
mapping of land contracts, the conditions, compensation, and the
application of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in decision
Ninety five percent of the 180 respondents were Bibanja
holders while the remaining were licensees.
The findings of the study are expected to feed
into the proposed implementation of further land acquisitions in the new
ten-year National Oil Palm Project (NOPP).
The report points to gross human rights
violations by the Vegetable Oil Development project, the Regulatory involving land grabbing and irregular
"This research found that Uganda Land
Commission skipped processes in land acquisition and compensated
squatters on public land without first taking the necessary steps.
Regarding private mailo land, all rights of bibanja holders (bona fide
occupants) and licensees must be recognized, but the Uganda Land
Commission created leaseholds in favor of OPUL,”reads part of the report.
The study also shows that there wasn’t strict adherence to prior informed consent during land acquisition in
Buvuma, while it was expected that the lessons learned from Kalangala
should have informed better implementation in Buvuma.
also notes that differences in land tenure systems presented challenges in
the successful and equitable application of the principles of free, prior and
“Awareness raising prior to land acquisition was skewed
towards potential benefits, and failed to transmit information in the right
forums, formats and languages. Valuation and compensation processes leading to
land acquisition were not clear, leading to high numbers of very disgruntled
bibanja holders and licensees. Those involved in land sales had no access to
legal representation, and therefore could not get legal advice to aid decision-making
during the sale process,” the report further reads.
The report exonerates Oil Palm Uganda Limited
against accusations of growing Palm oil fruits in forest reserves. This comes
after the high court dismissed cases of encroachment against the Oil
Palm growing company.
Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala, the lead researcher
says the research was based on the public outcry by the project affected
person after their failure to get justice.
Kyofa Kabuye, the Project Manager Oil Palm Uganda Limited
told Uganda Radio Network that such research wasn’t based on facts since
the researchers failed to liaise with the Agriculture Ministry and Uganda Land
Commission, which handled the land purchases.