Deputy Speaker Urges Investigation into Land Grabbing Allegations in Agago District

The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, has called upon the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and the Attorney General to investigate allegations of land encroachment and fraudulent issuance of land titles in Agago district.

Tayebwa issued the instruction following a petition by concerned community members of Lapono sub-county, presented by local MP, Hon. John Amos Okot (NRM, Agago North County), during the plenary session on Tuesday, April 2, 2024.

The petitioners criticized the Ministry of Lands for distributing title certificates without engaging the community in the surveying process, claiming that the Resident District Commissioner asserted in an October 17, 2023 meeting, that the community had willingly surrendered their land to investors.

“The RDC is now employing Police and officials from the National Forestry Authority to intimidate certain leaders who have been supporting the community in defending their customary land rights,” stated Okot.

He mentioned that officials from the National Forestry Authority and some wildlife rangers under Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) have threatened the community, citing the devastation of more than 10,000 acres of crops by animals.

He further revealed that the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development recently identified mineral deposits on the land in question and has deployed troops who are continuing to intimidate the community.

“The request of these individuals is for this Parliament to investigate the illicit issuance of land titles on this land and also probe the actions of the RDC and other individuals implicated,” added Okot.

The Attorney General noted that all land owned by NFA and UWA is legally designated, and all customary land ownership can be verified through records held by the Ministry of Lands.

“If titles have been issued, they need to clarify the circumstances under which they were granted. The Ministry of Lands has the authority to revoke improperly issued titles. I will collaborate with the Ministry to thoroughly investigate this matter within the next 30 days,” stated Kiryowa Kiwanuka.