By Nathan Eyagu
Katakwi -Local Councils one (1) in Katakwi district have been blamed for aiding the increasing number of land cases in the district.
The cases are majorly in the sub county of Palam and counties like Toroma and Ngariam.
While addressing residents during a mobile legal aid clinic about land rights sponsored by Action Aid, a nonprofit organization in a function held at Palam sub county headquarters, Ngariam County in Katakwi district, Joseph Akol,the Katakwi district land board chair person, blamed LC1’s for the rise of the cases of land as they involve themselves in the sale of land without clear documentation thus complicating things.
He further promised to deal with such LC1’s who complicate things.
‘’Let the old people show land boundaries to their children and get customary certificates of land ownership if you are not able to get a land title so as to prevent fights, I further warn the area land committee to desist from surveying land that has wrangles’’, he added.
He further advised the residents to desist from selling off land for enjoyment but rather involve themselves in commercial and sustainable agriculture so as to kick out household poverty.
According to Angirot Wilbrod, a parish chief of Achanga in Palam sub county where most cases are reported from,LC1’s should be blamed for the rise of land cases as they are involved in corruption as they involve themselves as judges in the land cases in favor of money.
‘’Some of the cases involve families of multiple wives who are vulnerable as they are denied land rights most especially those who have not produced any children but with this mobile legal aid clinic sponsored by Action Aid, it will help people secure their land at the sub county level as compared to the county level where people finding it as a challenge in attending trainings about land rights’’,
He also added that his office is able to register 15 cases in a month and most of them are forwarded to the next offices after the parties involved fail to come into an understanding.
According to Oriokot Simon Peter, a lawyer who gave legal advice on land rights to the residents,’’ The exercise is to help sensitize people about land rights and advise them that even women, widows and orphans have a right to own land’’,
He also added that during the mediation exercise that he had with some of the residents, more than three cases were reported and most of them had widows as victims calling upon more sensitization on land rights to area land committee members and the LC1s.
Sarah Agiro working with Action Aid as a counselor on human rights and equity under the physiological department, the legal aid clinic on land rights was majorly focusing on women as they are the major victims thus calling upon all the communities to register their land by getting customary land certificates.
She further added that sensitizing people on land tenure system and bringing the services closer will help the community while pointing out cattle rustling and other insurgencies as being part of the causes of land cases in the sub county as some people run far and are now having issues getting back their land after other people settled on it thus urging them to report land related cases to responsible authorities.
During the course of the sensitization where the residents reached out to them, she was able to register ten complaints and a number of them from the women.
Okello Dickson from Otuko village told this website that he is one of the victims greatly affected as he lost part of the land to encroachers since they ran away during the time of insurgencies.
‘’I was having the idea of fighting back but after getting legal advice, I shall follow up on the case and have it solved’’, he added.
Some of the residents who spoke to this website, especially the women, thanked Action Aid for the training and further requested the services to be brought closer.