Land Grabbing in Uganda Taken to another level
Rather than engage in transparent negotiations over the terms of how to purchase or lease the land Gen. Museveni has deployed troops in the region, escalting the potential for brutalization of the people. Madhvani Group wants to acquire more than 20,000 acres for a sugar cane plantation and factory.
The Madhvani Group must immediately renounce, repudiate and condemn use of state terrorism against innocent civilians by Gen. Museveni in his pursuit of land in Amuru on behalf of the company.
It’s also believed Gen. Museveni may want to acquire the land by force because it contains mineral riches.
Uganda’s former commissioner of lands administration Livingstone Okello-Okello observed in a recent letter to Betty Amongi, Gen. Museveni’ minister for Lands that he had once proposed in Parliament that the government determine the resources contained in the land such as precious minerals and oil. He also wrote: “There is no investor under the sun who will put their money where the locals do not welcome it. Is it really Madhvani? Or is Madhvani’s name being used to camouflage land grabbing?”
The leaders in Acholi region, including Members of Parliament Gilbert Olanya, Anthony Akol and other MPs have clearly stated that the people are prepared to negotiate with ethical investors of their choice; but they are not interested in deals imposed with the barrel of guns. Scores of people have been killed in past incidents by security forces.
Land is the only asset the people of Amuru have. They are so terrified of dispossession that elderly women have even disrobed and protested semi-nude, such as when Museveni minister Amongi went to “survey” the land recently escorted by a heavily-armed troop detachment. Nude protest by women is the highest form of repudiation in this culturally conservative community.
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