Thinking about the Amuru saga and the running battles between the community on the one hand and Government and ‘investors’ on the other hand, one only has to go back to recent public policy pronouncements to see Government’s stance towards (and complicity in) land grabbing.
Just a few examples:
“President Museveni has said the government will change the law to allow intending investors in the mining industry to access private land that contains minerals without negotiating with the land owners.
President Museveni said this during a conference on mineral wealth in Kampala yesterday. He said Cabinet would push for the amendment of the Mining Act 2001 so that investors negotiate directly with the government for access to the land where they intend to carry out mineral extraction.
“The people who have to give you consent are the people who own the minerals, and that is the government. The other man [landowner] has no consent to give because the property is not his,” said President Museveni.”
………..“The mistake has been to make the investors deal with the landowners, they should deal with the government; and then the government will deal with the landowners. You just tell those villagers to get out. You cannot stop the State from accessing its assets. We shall sort it out, we shall amend the Act. In fact, the Constitutional Court should say that Act is unconstitutional,” he added.
(-From Daily Monitor article By NELSON WESONGA. Thursday, October 2 2014)
“Anybody who frustrates investment will be locked up in prison for five years, State minister for Investment Gabriel Ajedra has said. Announcing government’s proposed Uganda Investment Bill, 2015, that is under scrutiny by Cabinet, the minister said the Bill, if approved by Parliament, would impose a Shs20 million fine on “such saboteurs”.
“Due to continued frustration of investors, we are replacing the Investment Act with a new Bill. It is now in Cabinet and in a week or two, it will be tabled in Parliament,” said Mr Ajedra. The new Bill amends the 1991 Uganda Investment Code Act.
“It will be a criminal offence for anyone who frustrates an investor and that person faces five years in jail, a fine of 1,000 currency points (Shs20 million) or both,” he added.”
(From the Daily Monitor article by Stephen Wandera, Friday May 8, 2015)
“President Museveni has vowed to punish people who are hiding under politics to frustrate projects meant to benefit poor Ugandans.
Mr Museveni particularly cited those still frustrating oil palm growing on Kalangala Islands, saying they don’t deserve to live because they don’t want the country to become self-sustaining
“I wanted bullets to kill those bad-hearted people because they do not care about the local people. Oil palm is used to produce soap. Are they suggesting that we all stop bathing?” he asked
By 2008, Kalangala’s forest cover stood at 13,471 hectares, of which 621 were given out to grow palm oil.”
(The Daily Monitor, article by Henry Lubulwa, Tuesday September 8, 2015)
I leave it to you to decide for yourself. For now, I rest my case…..