Blog post by Ed Wilson. Ed Wilson is the Executive Director for IJM Canada. He recently returned from a one-week trip to visit our teams in the field in Uganda, where we defend widows and orphans from property grabbing. He shares his observations from the field, noting the significant steps taken by the Mukono Magistrate's Court to make justice possible.
By Kathryn Wilkes
Kathryn Wilkes is the Field Office Director for IJM Kampala. She and her team have helped defend more than 1,000 widows and orphans from property grabbing.
You may have heard Juliana’s story from us before. She is an elderly widow who was attacked with a machete—her hand was severely cut when she raised it to block the machete’s blow to her head. This attack came after months of abuse, threats, and intimidation from a distant relative, who claimed that Juliana’s land belonged to him.
New IJM research finds that nearly one of three widows in one area of Uganda is a victim of property grabbing—a devastating crime that threatens lives and livelihoods for some of the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.
Nearly 20% of these victims reported that attempts were made on their lives—and more than 30% reported threats against their children—by powerful neighbors or relatives trying to steal their homes or land.
Charles is flanked by IJM lawyer Diana and IJM aftercare specialist Lydia. Diana says: “These arrests show that those who steal the property of the most vulnerable, will be punished. Because of these arrests, Charles now has hope that his land will be recovered.”
KAMPALA, UGANDA – A battle that has lasted nearly as long as Charles has been alive is ending soon: This week, a man and woman were arrested and charged for stealing and selling off land that should belong to Charles, now 19, and his two orphaned siblings.