By Insight Post Uganda
The Speaker of Parliament -Anita Among (Nalongo) on Wednesday took a firm stand, directing Minister of Gender Labour and Social Development, Betty Amongi, to furnish a detailed report on lands owned by Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).
This directive, prompted by complaints from Members of Parliament, alleges that PWD-owned land in Lweza, Wakiso district, is teetering on the brink of illegal takeover by investors.
Among highlighted the gravity of the situation, stressing the need for a comprehensive report that extends beyond Lweza, as similar concerns have been raised in other regions.
These concerns surfaced during discussions on the government’s statement about the upcoming International Day of Persons With Disabilities, presented by State Minister for PWD, Hellen Asamo.
The commemoration, themed ‘The Role of Innovation in disability inclusion,’ is scheduled for December 3, 2023, in Mbarara district.
Representatives of PWDs, including Laura Kanushu, dropped bombshells during the session. Kanushu asserted possession of a copy of a letter purportedly written by the President, instructing the gender minister to allocate four acres of land in Lweza to an investor.
She further disclosed another letter from the gender minister instructing the Minister for Lands, Housing, and Urban Development to distribute over four acres of land to additional investors. These revelations prompted the demand for clarity on when PWDs began providing land to investors.
Hon. Mpindi Bumali echoed Kanushu’s apprehensions, revealing that PWDs are living in fear of potential land grabbing orchestrated by their line ministry.
As preparations for the International PWD Day are underway, Bumali expressed deep concerns regarding the alleged collaboration between the Minister of Gender and an unidentified party in the Lweza land matter.
Flavia Kabahenda, Chairperson of the Committee on Gender, Labour, and Social Development, added her voice to the chorus of concerns, pointing out that land in Naguru designated for children with disabilities is at risk of being taken away from its rightful owners.
In response, Kabahenda urged the government to reconsider the tax on diapers, citing its negative impact on the already disadvantaged.
Minister Asamo acknowledged the urgency of addressing these multifaceted issues. She called for the local production of affordable organic diapers and urged the implementation of a comprehensive policy to ensure schools have facilities to assist children with disabilities.
Asamo proposed innovative solutions, including online sign language tutorials for secondary schools and signed audio-visual copies of the curriculum, to bridge teaching gaps in sign language.
She further implored the Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology, and National Guidance to install translation systems in schools for real-time voice-to-text conversion.
In a resolute response to these mounting concerns, Speaker Among directed the introduction of a motion to mandate all schools, whether private or public, to implement facilities supporting PWD students in their learning environments.
The urgency of this directive reflects the parliamentary commitment to safeguarding the rights and properties of PWDs amidst the looming threats of land grabbing and bureaucratic oversight.