KAMPALA – Youths in Uganda have been tipped on how best to handle matters to do with land in the contemporary Uganda today. They were tipped at an event where district youth representatives across the country convened for the Annual General Meeting of the National Youth Advocacy Program (NYAP) that was held at J-Frigh Hotel in Makerere Kikoni.
Mr Anthony Asiimwe, the Manager Pro-bono Project at Uganda Law Society said whereas it is everyone’s right to own land, a number of youth have not enjoyed this privilege, something that has in turn has affected their productivity.
He explains that youth do not have knowledge on land issues and that is why they (ULS) are doing lots of awareness and sensitisation campaigns amongst the youth on land laws.
Youths have for long not gotten the most from their land because they are ignorant about land laws and this is majorly because they do not attend the different sensitisation engagements and end up crying foul when duped I land deals.
“Land has apparently become the most expensive commodity as it keeps appreciating. Youth should stop leaning on inheriting and learn to work hard to see that they can buy their own land; this will limit land wrangles,” he said.
Asiimwe further noted that there is a lot of government land available for leasing and if the youth can come together and form groups, they would easily lobby and lease this land from the government through the District Land Boards.
“Most of the land cases we get involving youths are administrative cases where youth are fighting for their parents’ property and this is brought about by the fact that they (parents) fail to make wills before death.”
Crispin Mutehimbwa the Executive Director Sensitize Uganda who also doubles as the Chairperson National Youth Advocacy Platform NYAP said they had gathered to reflect on what they had gone through in 2020 and chat a way forward on approaching the next year.
He explained that among other things, they want to find ways how youth can acquire land to participate in poverty eradication projects like agriculture by improving access to land
“Our major challenge is the fact that agriculture has been made to look like a project for those that have failed in life. We need to change the narrative and make young people admire agriculture,” he shared.
He added that young people tend to face limitations on access and ownership of land since it has been given to investors.
“I believe this move by the government can work with youths too and we need to wake up as a country and empower the youths to get them to be productive.”
Ms Annet Diana Nanono, the female representative at NYAP noted that accessing land as a young person is hard because families believe young people can’t own and utilise land effectively.
She shares that even when youth have money to get the land, they end up buying small land and just build houses and may be practice urban farming.
“There also too many stereotypes of how women cannot inherit or own land. I have however learnt that the Uganda Law Society has lawyers that are willing to help youth in matters of land, something I did not know,” she shared.
She further called upon the government to put emphasis on publicising the existence of land available to utilise by the vulnerable young people.
“Parliament should as well amend the law of inheriting and make it not limited to the fact that a woman has to be legally married to the man in order to inherit his property because yes, they might not be married but when they have lived together for long and have children too.”