Matembe lauds NRM caucus as Gulu rejects land bill

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Former Ethics Minister Miria Matembe

The former Ethics and Integrity Minister, Maria Matembe has lauded the National Resistance Movement-NRM party caucus for heeding to demands by citizens to stop the proposed land amendment.

On Wednesday, the NRM caucus convened in State House in Entebbe to generate consensus on the Constitutional amendment bill 2017.

The bill seeks to amend article 102(b) of the constitution to provide for compulsory acquisition of land for Government projects.

During the meeting chaired by President Yoweri Museveni, the NRM party chairperson, some of the legislators reportedly opposed the bill, saying Ugandans were not ready to receive the amendment.

As a result, the NRM caucus resolved to set up a 10 man committee led by the Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi to advice on the amendments.

The committee will also ensure the proposed law is in line with the constitutional provisions on land.

Now, Maria Matembe, an ardent critic of Government has hailed the NRM caucus for listening to Ugandans, saying the proposed compulsory land acquisition would majorly affect the poor.

Gulu residents reject land amendment bill

Residents of Gulu Town have pledged to pressurize government to abandon the constitutional amendment bill 2017.

The bill seeks to amend article 26 of the constitution provide for the compulsory acquisition of land for government projects.

However, Gulu town residents have vowed to work with their legislators to block the proposed amendment.

Joyce Bongomin, a resident of Gulu Town, says they will mobilize themselves and lead a procession to parliament to oppose the proposed amendment.

“If it means using the tool that the Amuru people use to defend their land, we will do that. We will strip naked infront of Parliament” she stated in native Acholi language.

She was speaking during a consultative meeting held by opposition politicians at Kaunda Grounds led by Winnie Kizza, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.

During the meeting, the legislators distributed copies of the proposed law to residents.

Christopher Opiyo Ateker, a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement party, says there is no doubt that residents are opposed to the proposed bill, adding that they will use their consensus to block the amendment.

Moses Abonga, a resident of Laroo division, says they will cooperate with the legislators to frustrate the land amendment should government fail to consider the concerns of ordinary citizens.

Winnie Kiiza, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, said they have met overwhelming discontent over the bill throughout their consultations in various parts of the country.

Amuru saga

Allegations of serious human rights abuses have emerged from the ongoing land survey for the establishment of Amuru Sugar Works in Amuru district.

The project affected persons allege that the survey has thrown them into great pain, unexpected panic and suffering.

Some widows in the area claim that their land has been forcefully grabbed by powerful neighbours while others accuse Lands ministry officials of engaging in harmful propaganda to persuade them into surrendering their land.

The Police personnel deployed to oversee security of the people in the area are also being accused of intimidation, arbitrary arrests, mounting illegal checkpoints, instituting night curfews and mistreatment of residents.

The exercise taking place in Bombay and Payot villages in Kololo area began on August 14th leaving several men and women in hiding for fear of being arrested.

43-three-year-old Grace Aber, a widow with seven orphans, accuses Police of superintending the grabbing of her only piece of land donated to her by Patrick Omony Canogura in 2016.

Source: URN

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