Environmental Alert (EA), PELUM and Trac Fm are implementing the “Land Rights campaign” which is part of the Common Matters 2 program. The overall goal of the campaign is to, sensitize citizens to understand and respect their land rights when it comes to compulsory land acquisition and fair compensation. Help citizens defend their land rights and be vigilant when they are challenged.’
In Uganda, multinational companies and private individuals have taken advantage of insecure local land rights, inaccessible registration procedures, legislative gaps and community ignorance to easily acquire thousands of hectares of land with the backing of the state. In recent developments, government is considering legislation to ease compulsory purchase of land; and recently proposed a land bill (amending article 26 of the constitution) to allow government circumvent current procedures for compensation regarding public land for infrastructural development or investment projects, though it has been withdrawn. Progressively, government is considering amending other laws like Land Acquisition Act 1965 to facilitate faster land acquisition for investment projects.
The Land rights campaign will provide an alternative platform for citizens to debate pro-poor, just and human rights based legal land acquisition and compensation. Interactive radio polls, hosted on 10 radio stations throughout the country will allow citizens to participate in a structured conversation regarding the proposed act; perceptions on land disputes, corporate interests, ‘government interference’ and fair land compensation. The campaign will also cover the position of government in cases where individuals may obstruct development or infrastructural projects that could benefit the community.
The meeting will be interactive and participatory to allow free sharing of information, knowledge and ideas among members. Power point presentations and plenary discussions will be used to foster participation and attract feedback for developing key actions.
The purpose of the engagement is to enhance public awareness on land rights and strengthen citizen centered action for policies and laws in Uganda. This will also add value to the on-going initiatives and will help fast track progress.
The meeting will be held at Grand Global Hotel on 20/12/2018, and attendance is by Invite.