UGANDA, Mengo | Real Muloodi News | During the 32nd Heroes’ Day anniversary speech at Kololo Independence Grounds, President Yoweri Museveni explained the failure and inefficiency of the Mailo land tenure system in Uganda. He claimed that this century-old system in the Buganda kingdom is “a very bad system,” and should be dismantled. However, Mr Charles Peter Mayiga, the Buganda Kingdom Katikkiro (Prime Minister), argued that the Mailo tenure system does not cause land conflicts.
President Museveni said, “land owners should be entitled to full ownership of their land like elsewhere in Uganda. In Ankole, nobody can chase you away from your land. You [live in] fear.” The president went on to say that one of his priorities for his sixth term would be to end evictions that resulted from Mailo tenure land disputes.
A popular criticism of Mailo tenure is the overlap and lack of clarification of use rights and ownership between the Mailo tenants or occupants (called Kibanja holders) and landlords. This has been proven to be one of the biggest obstacles to investment and agricultural efficiency.
Mr Mayiga gave a counter argument to President Yoweri Museveni’s comments. The Katikkiro maintained that the source of land conflicts is not the Mailo tenure system but rather the failure of government authorities to respond effectively to the land disputes.
Mr Mayiga insists that “those agitating for the scrapping of the system are off the point”. He explained a seven-point strategy the government must adapt to resolve land disputes.
Mr Mayiga argues, “security forces should not look on as bigwigs evict the vulnerable. The land offices should stop writing titles over those already existing. The mess within those offices must be cleaned.” He explained that Makerere University, State House, and Namulonge Research Center establish their operation on Mailo Land, and their businesses have not experienced any hindrance to their establishments. He argues that the police land division should promptly investigate and resolve evictions, and he urged for “expeditious resolution of land-related cases.”
He recognises that, in many cases, land issues have been politicised and looks to the government to stop this. Overall, it is clear that land evictions must come to an end.
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