KAMPALA — Ugandans in diaspora have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga over rampant land grabbing in the country, which they say has greatly affected their investment plans.
Through their desk in Uganda, the Diaspora community wants cabinet to put in place strategies to protect their investments back home.
The appeal was made through the President of Uganda North American Association (UNAA) Henrietta Nairuba Wamala, in a meeting with the speaker in Parliament, on Thursday.
“Madam Speaker many people are coming to me with concerns that they feel their properties are not safe in Uganda due to rampant land-grabbing in the country,” said Nairuba.
She said, Ugandans in the diaspora have greatly suffered losses citing a case of some who buy land, only to return and find other people holding titles for the same land.
In other cases, she says, the Ugandans return to find that land-grabbers have erected buildings on their land.
She also expressed concern over the new immigration law which requires them to present national IDs during acquisition and renewal of passports, which she says is troublesome owing to the tedious process involved in acquisition of national IDs.
She said there is only one bio-metric station in Washington that serves all Ugandans in North America. This she said makes the process costly.
“Madam Speaker, Ugandans in North America pay thousands of dollars just to travel to have passports renewed” she appealed to government to broaden coverage of bio-metric services to all states of America.
In response, Kadaga said land grabbing has become an epidemic in Uganda with individuals who think that they are entitled to everything in Uganda, but she will continue to speak against it until when “impunity” is prevailed over.
Kadaga said she is going to engage the Foreign Affairs ministry over inadequacy of bio-metric machines to have services easier for Ugandan population abroad.
Uganda currently operates only three biometric stations in the Diaspora with one in UK, one for Nordic countries, and another one in Washington DC which serves all the 50 states of North America.