By Ronald Kabuye
The women federation under their umbrella body in the country Uganda Women’s Network UWONET want to be involved in the entire process of enacting and amending land laws especially the intended amendment of article 26 of constitution which seeks to enable government compulsory take over of privately owned property before prompt compensation.
During the conference aimed at interrogating the positives and challenges of amending article 26 of the constitution, the executive director of UWONET Rita Aciiro said that women should not be left out during the process as it is the case apparently since the country stands on their shoulders thus no need for the leaders to intentionally choose to sideline them in the process since it might cause instability more so on regards to food insecurity.
Her view is that there is no need to amend article 26 of constitution since the country has adequate laws and policies internationally, regionally and nationally giving examples of the universal declaration on Human Rights, Maputo protocol, the constitution, land act, national land policy among others thus what’s is needed is plugging in the loopholes where they are not working instead of investing in the process that will take the country backwards.
“we believe that the current laws and policies are adequate, we just need enforcement, implementation and things that will protect women, girl child and family without that there will be instability at family and national level.” said Aciiro.
In the same way the executive director of Great Lakes institution for strategy studies GLISS Godber Tumushabe emphasised that any attempt to amend article 26 of the constitution, is not only illegitimate but also immoral since it deprives ones foundamental rights of ownership of land, create uncertainty which impact negatively on women who are direct dependants on land.
He advised that government should instead be strengthening such protections and creating the mechanism around which it can be able to get the land they need for public investment with out compromising the spirit of article 26 of the constitution due to selfish interests.
He added that all the different segments of society ranging from traditional leaders to farmers need to come together and redefine the relationship between the citizens and government since apparently everybody fears the latter which has turned out to be the giver or charitable entity yet all the resources government has are provided by tax payers.
“All these segments need to be assertive and aggressive in demanding for accountability from government, defending constitution and protecting the institutions of state that would attribute between citizens and government” said Tumushabe