What is LEMU?
LEMU, the Land Equity Movement of Uganda, is a movement which aims to unite the efforts of everyone with a contribution to offer to make land work for the poor.
This includes the efforts of local people, local Government, local civil society organisations, students, elders, volunteers, and anyone with contribution to make land work for the poor.
LEMU wants to make sure that the right policies, laws and structures are put in place, in order that everyone can have fair access to land and land can be used as profitably as possibly for all. LEMU wants to help local structures working with the poor – local Government and civil society – to support the poor to claim their land rights.
LEMU tries to be a link between government and communities: it brings in knowledge of laws and policies to the communities, and facilitates them to understand rights, roles, responsibilities and changes taking place in land ownership; and it works with other stakeholders to help Government and policy makers understand the issues of people’s land rights to help design solutions and implementation strategies.
What does LEMU believe?
• Poverty is unjust and can be overcome.
• All Ugandans have a role to play in poverty eradication.
• The rights of all to development can only be realised by understanding how laws affect men, women and children in different ways.
• Everyone; women, men and children need and deserve land rights.
Where does LEMU work?
LEMU’s main focus is currently in the north and east of Uganda. Land ownership here is almost entirely under what is called “customary tenure” – local rules. These systems are less well understood than the more ‘international’ system of freehold ownership, so there is a greater problem of policy being formulated and implemented without a good understanding of what is happening on the ground. Additionally, the north of Uganda has been beset by conflict for the past 20 years, and this has caused mass displacement, which adds to land rights vulnerability.