The Police Land Protection Unit is grappling with solving a new wave crime in which land grabbers forcefully occupy their victimsâ€™ land without going through court.
The Police Land Protection Unit has uncovered a new crime tactic in which land grabbers forcefully occupy their victims’ land without going through court.
The Police Land Protection Unit spokesperson, Emillian Kayiima says these land grabbers fraudulently obtain land titles before they move to fence off their victims’ gardens or even compounds with barbed wire or iron sheets.
Recently President Yoweri Museveni stopped any evictions of bibanja holders against their will by landlords even when they do not pay land dues. This came after State Minister for Lands Aidah Nantaba forced bibanja holders who had been evicted by landlords back to their land.
Kayiima says police has found that these land grabbers always claim to have duplicate titles or special titles for the said land. However Kayiima insists that where the new occupant has a title and the original occupant also has another, one of them must be forged.
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In some cases landlords fence off the land without compensating the bibanja holders to force them to go to court. Kayiima says in such instances the powerful usually thrive by using the land before the land protection unit moves in.
Kayiima explains that they have also found such cases in matrimonial property where one of the parties sells without the consent of the other party.
Kayiima says it’s mainly the women and the elderly who fall victim to such fraud.
Kayiima says he was once called to Mpala near Entebbe where an old woman Edith Njuba’s land had been fenced off.
In another instance in Matugga – Lwadda in Wakiso district another elderly man called Sebaggala Kintu had been thrown off his land, his house had been pulled down and the land properly graded to remove any former evidence of the house and his kraal.
Kayiima says in both instances the Land Protection Unit moved to the ground where they gave the former owners security to remove the installed fences.
Kayiima says that these land grabbers work on their victims psychologically by claiming that they can pay anybody which the victims are not able to do.
They at times even lie to police officers to tread slowly claiming that someone big in government is involved.
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These land grabbers tell falsehoods to their victims claiming to have reported them to the Presidential Land Task Force, the Directorate of Land Matters in State house, and the Police Land Protection Unit. He says all this is meant to confuse the victim so that they break down and stop pursuing the case.
Kayiima attributes this problem to none functional LCs who would otherwise be able to intervene.