PS Ministry of Lands

Why Acholi leaders will be sensitised on land matters 

(Last Updated On: 24 February 2024)

Gulu | The government through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has planned to hold a sensitization meeting to address issues of land matters among others in Acholi sub-region.

In her letter to the leaders of Gulu, Amuru, Agago, Nwoya, Omoro and Pader districts, the permanent secretary in the above ministry, Dorcas W Okalany invited the leadership of the districts and city for a consultative meeting on securing land under customary tenure in Acholi.

According to Okalany, the leaders in the region have been raising a number of issues concerning the ministry, which included among others, planning and opening boundaries of their land which is associated with unregistered customary land and boundary disputes.

“It is against this background that the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is in the process of organising stakeholder meetings in districts and cities and municipalities in Northern Uganda under USMID-AF project,” her letter reads in part.

She further stated that the main objectives of the sensitization will be to enlighten participants on the various tenure systems in Uganda, physical planning issues, the legal and policy frameworks in the land sector, the process of acquiring land in Uganda, the responsibilities of land management institutions and the alternative dispute resolution.

In February 2023, the Acholi Cultural Institution and ten legislators from the sub-region sued the government in the Gulu High Court over the allegations of illegally extending boundaries of Aswa Ranch which now sits on 105,00 acres of land covering the districts of Lamwo and Pader.

The plaintiffs accuse in particular, the Uganda Livestock Industry Ltd, a government parastatal of fraudulently creating a new freehold title over the Aswa Ranch for 15,930.46 acres inside Lamwo and another 25,516.6 acres inside Pader without the due processes of the district land boards.

Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South MP, said in an interview with tndNews that the illegal extension of the boundaries violates the original user clause in which the government was given 68,000 hectares of land for animal breeding.

Olanya alleged that owing to the illegal extension of the land, several households in Angagura and Laguti sub-counties were forcefully displaced while others were displaced from their customary land minus compensation.

“We intend to ask the Court to issue an injunction over any illegal activities taking place inside Aswa Ranch until a proper boundary reopening is conducted by the government,” Olanya said.

tndNews has also learnt that boundary issues on land remain contentious across the country and in particular where infrastructure projects are being rolled out.

Gulu City which has benefited from multi-billion projects under Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development Program (USMID), will be also included since there are a number of completed projects of roads, and other urban developments.

According to the Ministry, major actors in land matters are expected to be part of the sensitization meeting which will include the political leadership across Acholi, technical staff in the district land offices, the police, judicial officers, RDCs, CAOs, and traditional leaders.

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