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Buganda Land Board and its partners like Action Aid and the Lands Ministry organized a 5-day land rights sensitization seminars across Wakiso district between 22th July to 26th July 2019. The awareness week which took place in areas of Kikookiro, Kasanje, Kasangati, Masuulita and concluded at Nabweru play grounds attracted hundreds of people who came to listen, and others to seek aid in how to handle land matters giving them headaches. 

During this period, staff from participating organisations made presentations on land matters and others provided free legal aid to those with land related legal problems.

In his presentation to the hundreds who always attended the sensitization seminars, BLB Head Corporate Affairs Mr.Simon Kabogoza, said that the seminars were meant to sensitize people about their land-related rights and duties and this was as part of the activities to mark Kabaka’s 26th coronation anniversary. Mr. Kabogoza further told people that as BLB we have realized most of the land wrangles result from the fact that both tenants/Bibanja people and landlords sometimes don’t know/stick to their respective rights and duties.

Buganda Land Board Head of Corporate Affairs Simon Kabogoza makes his address at the Nabweru seminar

Tony Kiyita, the Nansana Division Deputy Speaker, implored BLB management to consider sending its experts to regularly attend village meetings so that more residents benefit since many were unable to attend the Friday seminar having fallen at short notice when many had gone to work yet their area has a large concentration of people living on Kabaka’s land (the very reason why BLB management established a vibrant branch there).

BLB mobilization officer Damalie Nakimbugwe sensitizes some of the Nabweru people during the small group discussions

Kabogoza said there was nothing to worry about referring them to the area BLB branch office which is daily open from 8-5pm. “You don’t have to travel to Bulange or Muganzirwaza to get similar sensitization like what we have had here today. It’s the same everywhere and gratefully we have a very active office here in your area,” he explained.

Besides the many lawyers and surveyors who addressed the seminars passing on land empowering information to residents, people were able to put area leaders on the spot in regards to land issues in their areas. Even BLB was never spared but such issues were always ably answered by BLB’s Mobilisation Officers like Mr. Moses Kizito Gambobbi .

BLB's Mobilisation Officer Mwami Gambobi(holding a microphone) addressing residents about their land rights and obligations. Next to him is Mr.Kimbowa Joseph, also from BLB.

Wishing the seminar occurred earlier, Nansana resident Isaac Semakula (one of the many who spoke during question & answer session) narrated how his father (Mzee GW Kibuka) got emotionally consumed into a land wrangle resulting into him developing hypertension to which he recently succumbed.

Action Aid’s Achaloi Jennipher(in a black jacket) chats with other organizers

That the old man innocently offered the free land he wasn’t using to the area Church of Uganda to be used as a playground for the children at the nearby Church school. In the end the land was fenced off and he no longer had any access.

Semakula says they approached all land relevant offices including Wakiso district, the Lands Ministry and others but didn’t get any help until their father’s condition escalated leading to death recently. He commended BLB for the awareness creation seminars saying they lost their land to the church largely because as a family, they were inadequately informed.g

Other residents called on BLB and the Lands Ministry to help in neutralizing land brokers and the Bafere who sometimes broker the sale of the same piece of land multiple times saying they were contributing the greater part of the rampant land wrangles in their area. That some go around impersonating claiming to be children of some big people at Mengo.

Some of the Wakiso residents who turned up for the sensitisation meetings listening to the proceedings.

The BLB officials said the best way to deflate such thugs is for the residents to shun them and instead make use of the BLB official information channels including directly reaching out to the branches to verify the information. The area LC chairpersons too spoke pleading with BLB to have more seminars to reach more residents especially those who missed.

Nabweru Kabaka’s Miti Ebiri Gombolola chief Joseph Kabenge introduces his team at the beginning of the land sensitization seminar The LC1 chairpersons Musa Kanakulya and Vincent Mulindwa gesture at the sensitization meeting The Nabweru residents during the meeting Tony Kiyita the Nansana Deputy Speaker chats with another resident

Action Aid International’s Xavier Ejoyi, whose protégé Achaloi Jennipher was among those who facilitated at the seminar, said they were proud of the BLB partnership because it had enabled them to deepen awareness of land-related rights among women whose full participation is very vital if Uganda is to achieve inclusive development and growth. 

Wakiso residents, who received surveying and land-related legal education free of charge from the large team of experts BLB assembled, greatly appreciated the Kabaka for the offer and demanded for more such sensitization seminars.