The relationship between investors and communities in different parts of Uganda has improved, and an assessment of the performance of the ongoing Investor compliance monitoring tool (ICMT) implementation of the Investor compliance monitoring tool (ICMT) has been revealed.
The tool was built and rolled out by Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Uganda in partnership with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in 2021 with the major aim of assessing the investors’ compliance in major areas while setting up their investments.
It measures the investors’ compliance in the major areas of; land acquisition, food security, water management, documentation, and gender inclusion.
Currently, it is being implemented in the districts of Mubende, Kasanda, and Gomba in the central, Soroti and Kapelbyong in the eastern, and Dokolo in the Acholi sub-region.
During the workshop held to assess its performance Richard Katende, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at GIZ’s RGIL said that there have been great improvement in major areas.
“We have in the last three years assessed 102 investors across all districts but Soroti is performing highly because they are complying excellently in all areas,” he said
Katende said the major challenges are still in the central region whose land tenure system is causing disagreements between Bibanja holders and landlords.
“Sometimes the investor himself will fear to bring investment to the area once he realizes that his investment will not be safe and all this is because of the land tenure system because other areas are ok,” he said adding,
“Majority of the landlords and tenants are ignorant about their rights and you will find that when an investor is okayed for example by the landlord, he will face resistance in the community and sometimes he tries to use his money to forcefully influence them which leads to resistance,”
The workshop, was held at Skyz Hotel in Kampala, and brought together representatives from the Ministry of Lands, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Makerere University, Uganda Investment Authority, and Farmers’ Organizations among others.
The primary objective of the workshop, according to a joint communique by PELUM Uganda and GIZ, was to popularize the Investor Compliance Monitoring Tool (ICMT) to the identified Government Authorities (Ministries, Departments, and Agencies) that were previously not engaged in the tool yet their role is vital in up calling the use and adoption of the ICMT.
Moses Onen, PELUM Uganda Manager Advocacy, told the media, the tool guarantees rights to vulnerable communities such as; women and people living with a disability on land rights, adding that the tool also helps to give social security to investors.
He said the tool has been successful in the districts of Dokolo in Northern Uganda, Eastern Uganda, and in Kasanda and Mubende districts in the central region and shall be rolled out to other districts. He, however, said there are challenges still being faced in the central region, where there are rampant land wrangles due to the land tenure system, where landlords often disagree with “bibanja” (Land tenants) over rights on occupied land.
Chariton Namuwoza, the Chief executive officer, the National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU), while briefing journalists, said the tool is intended to promote organic Agriculture investments in the entire country.
“I am in support of this tool as it supports the organic Agriculture sector and will reflect how well organic Agriculture Investments are done,” he said. He said the tool will in addition benefit both the investors and farmers engaged in organic Agriculture.”