The Issue of Inheritance and at What Point Parents Should Handover Property to Children


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Primrose Ssemakula, a retired Primary teacher, 56 years of age and resident of Muyenga was chased out of her matrimonial home, after her husband’s death by her daughter, Teddy Ssemakula an only child, whom they had named as sole heir and transferred all their property into her names.

“My daughter after her father’s burial started behaving in a manner that was not appealing, and eventually threw me out of my marital home saying she had to live there with her husband.   Yes me and my late husband had put all the property in her name, being an only child, but I am still living. Why would she throw  me out?” Ssemakula lamented.

Cases of children throwing parents out of their own property and land that they worked so hard for during their youth are on the rise in Uganda as children are getting bolder and harsh.

Another such incident happened in Mpala Wakiso district, when Mzee Dennis Matovu, a father of 7, passed away. Mzee Matovu who had 7acres of land was denied burial space on his own land by his six children, because they believed a grave on the land would lower its value.

According to the residents, these children had been educated and well taken care of by Matovu, but upon his demise; they acted so cruelly to him and only his young son saved the situation by choosing to have the remains of his father rest on his small piece of land.

“As parents our hearts bleed when we see the young generation behaving in such a way, I pity this mzee, he should have sold and enjoyed his sweat other than leaving it for his ungrateful sons,’ a resident said.

One wonders at one point should parents bow out of their property and handover ownership to their child or children having spent all their youthful days working and would love to retire to peace and calm.

Land and property have become a question of contest when it comes to ownership, who should own property when parents age, or when one parent dies and leaves the other, or retires and can no longer handle the running of the estate.

Experts suggest that parents should stop leaving property to their children as inheritance and instead teach them how to fend for themselves and grow their property.

Other experts suggest putting a caveat to the property so that it cannot  be sold but used for developmental purposes such as farming which can be done when the parents are either alive or dead. They suggest this will stop these cruel acts from taking place and also keep the value of the land as it prevents selling small pieces off.

The issue of inheritance has put a lot of parents in harms’ way where some have even been killed at the hands of their flesh and blood.

Would Madam Ssemakula and Mzee Matovu stories have been different, if the children had been taught differently, that what is their parent is for their parents, and they had to work hard for their own?




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