Land grabbing and conflicts in Amuria District, Eastern Uganda
Okiror, Vincent Opolot
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The study analyzed land grabbing and conflicts in Amuria district-Uganda. It examined the land grabbing practices, institutional, socio-economic, cultural factors influencing land grabbing and how land grabbing has led to conflicts in the community. The study was guided by the Marxist theory. It adopted a cross sectional survey design and used both qualitative and quantitative approaches to gather data. It involved the LCI, LCIII chairpersons, NGO staff and district lands officers. Interviews, questionnaires and documentary review were used to gather data. The study found different forms of land grabbing practices which targeted widows, orphans, and community members without title deeds and proper documentation. The later causes massive institutional land grabbing. It was found that many of the community members did not know how to go about the land laws which would help to secure their land from the grabbers. The study found that there was great competition for agricultural land in the area and rapid population growth which was putting a lot of pressure on the available land. In addition, widows were losing their land inheritance and rights through grabbing by their late husband’s next of kin. It was found that the community members had limited knowledge about the land laws. The study revealed that land grabbing caused conflicts that led to fights between community members and land grabbers. Injuries and death cases have been reported. Though the community members had staged strikes and riots against land grabbing, some people are still being evicted from their land. The study therefore recommends the sensitization of community members about various land laws, policies and guidelines which the community members could use to protect their land. It also recommends active intervention of the institutions of the different law enforcement bodies, NGO’s and government agencies. Lastly, the study recommended that the Parliament of Uganda should pass a law that allows establishment of land courts and land tribunals at sub-country level. This will help the locals report the land grabbing cases and get justice as fast as possible.