KAMPALA-UGANDA/NEWSDAY:Buganda kingdom has warned against interpreting the country’s land issues in political terms.
The Kingdom’s Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga made the statement on Monday while addressing the Buganda Lukiiko at Bulange, Mengo.
“The truth is that, it’s not the mailo land system that is causing the problem because we have witnessed development in Uganda since the mailo land system was introduced. Land problems started around the 1990’s and 2000’s and if they are addressed, there should be no problem at all,” said Mayiga in part.
His statement comes after that of President Yoweri Museveni made early this month during the 32nd Heroes day celebrations at Kololo Independence grounds. At the event, Museveni described mailo land as a very bad and evil tenure system used in Buganda kingdom.
President Museveni disapproved the system that was adopted in the post 1900 Buganda Agreement era saying that it is not fair despite being supported by some people. The mailo land tenure system includes taxation fee on land ownership and squatters. It subjects ownership of land in Buganda kingdom to independent laws, norms, customs and values.
Now Museveni says that this needs to be reformed so that land owners are entitled to full ownership of their land. The President noted that he was perturbed by concerns of people who are illegally displaced from their land induced by land grabbing cases related to the mailo land tenure system.
However, Katikkiro Mayiga disagrees saying that the problem is not mailo land and the traditional institution’s Buganda Land Board- BLB.
“Many government institutions and installations were developed on mailo land…Makerere University is a case in point, Namulonge research centre, even the grounds of State House are on land which is mailo land for which we seek compensation right now,” said Mayiga.
Mayiga said that he is ready to interface with different leaders in the country to explain the land system and the causes of land problems in the country.
He warned against any enactment of controversial law on mailo law saying that even when enacted, they would be changed in future.
Mayiga identified seven issues which he said need to be addressed by government regarding land.
“Those who go and evict people from their land with guns should be identified and arrested. The land offices throughout the country should be streamlined because it is easier for the wrong people to get certificates of title than the rightful people, the Land Protection Unit of Uganda Police should be strengthened and given support, both financial and logistical,” he recommended.
Mayiga also said that all land cases should be timely disposed off in the courts of law with justice.
Meanwhile, Katikkiro Mayiga also tasked the new Cabinet appointed by President Yoweri Museveni to fight poverty and create jobs for youth, ensure medical supplies and equipment in all hospitals, reasonable payment to medical workers, place emphasis on education, protection of environment and provision of safe and sufficient water, respect for human rights and rule of law and others.
The other issues raised by Buganda to be handled by the new cabinet are ensuring that people are connected to the electricity grid all over the country, construction of new roads and maintaining of old ones among others.
Regarding the country’s response to Covid-19, Mayiga appealed to Ugandans to avoid self-medication and follow the set standard operating procedures. He also requested government to give support to private medical facilities such that they do not overcharge patients.
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