'Those men had made me believe I would never get a penny from them' - Justice Centres Uganda

‘Those men had made me believe I would never get a penny from them’

This is a statement made by Mukiibi after JCU helped him recover his land. Mukiibi is one of the so-many youths who leave Uganda heading to the Middle East in search of gainful employment. While working there, he was able to save up some money and he bought a plot of land (kibanja) in Wakiso in January 2016. During the time of sale, the area Chairperson who had a stamp wasn’t around and so his agreement had no local council stamp.

Prior to his return, Mukiibi reportedly had a dispute with his employer in the Middle East, who had him locked up for 4 years in prison. He was then deported back to Uganda in 2021. Upon his return, Mukiibi went to check on his land and found that Kakembo, a land dealer, had sold off his land to another person who was now living on the land and that the area Chairperson had witnessed that sale.

Mukiibi was in disbelief and he contacted the Local Council Authorities who refused to entertain his dispute saying that they never witnessed his sale agreement and so they did not know him as someone who owned land in the area. He then went to the police where he was told that his case was one of a civil nature and so they referred him to Justice Centres Uganda.

A JCU lawyer scheduled a mediation inviting Kakembo who appeared with a lawyer, the area Chairman and the seller of the land. To everyone’s shock, Kakembo could not identify the seller yet he too claimed to have bought the land from the same person. It was at this point that he had a private discussion with his lawyer and later requested to compensate Mukiibi with another piece of titled land. Mukiibi was able to acquire a registered piece of land in settlement which gives him greater protection under the law compared to the kibanja that only accorded him a right of occupancy.