As you are aware there are four complicated forms of landownership in Uganda unlike in developed nations which reduced to only two, namely, freehold, leasehold. In Uganda we have the former plus two , that is, mailo and customary. Given the change of circumstances the latter, that is, mailo and customary are likely to be absorbed into the former, that is, freehold(mailo likely to take this form) and leashold. There are number of pieces of legislations regulating land ownership Uganda. However, the most essential pieces are (a) Land Act 1998 (Ch 227), (b) Land Acquistion Act 1965(Ch 226) and (c) Registration of Titles Act 1924(Ch 230).
As regards the issue of recent so called ‘ Mengo evictions’, it first and foremost depends on how the deprived parties obtained that land; were they granted (a)leasehold? Or b) freehold(?). If any of those, did they bother to register their titles? Or Is it so that the land in question was obtained fraudulently? If you are granted either a freehold or leasehold, you can’t just be evicted abrutly without an advance notice. The notice can be served to you provided you breach the covenant(e.g failure to pay rent) between you and your landlord (previous land lord if bought freehold). However though served a notice to vacate, the landlord must seek a court order to lawfully evict you. Most land disputes are handled by land tibunals, but if unsuccessful at the tribual level,then the high court, a court which also deals with emergency situations which may require the deprived party to seek an injunction. So I don’t know well whether the Mengo victims were lawfull freeholders or leaseholders and what exactly transpired. Did they, for instance, acquire the land fraudulently or just breached the covenant with their landlord(the Kabaka)?
The following section is a good authority on eviction of tenants:
PART XII—ACTIONS AND OTHER REMEDIES S.176 Registration of Titles Act 1924(Ch 230)
176. Registered proprietor protected against ejectment except in certain
No action of ejectment or other action for the recovery of any land shall lie or be sustained against the person registered as proprietor under this Act, except in any of the following cases—
the case of a mortgagee as against a mortgagor in default;
the case of a lessor as against a lessee in default;
the case of a person deprived of any land by fraud as against the person registered as proprietor of that land through fraud or as vb against a person deriving otherwise than as a transferee bona fide for value from or through a person so registered through fraud;
the case of a person deprived of or claiming any land included in any certificate of title of other land by misdescription of the other land or of its boundaries as against the registered proprietor of that other land not being a transferee of the land bona fide for value;
the case of a registered proprietor claiming under a certificate of title prior in date of registration under this Act in any case in which two or more certificates of title may be registered under this Act in respect of the same land,
and in any case other than as aforesaid the production of the registered certificate of title or lease shall be held in every court to be an absolute bar and estoppel to any such action against the person named in that document as the grantee, owner, proprietor or lessee of the land described in it, any rule of law or equity to the contrary notwithstanding
The best thing to do at the moment is perhaps to enact a new piece of legislation which require compulsory registration of titles(perhap computerised?), just to curb the increase of fraud involved in acquiring land titles in Uganda and regulation of relationships) between the landlord(s) and tenant(s). England and Wales have very formidable pieces of legislation, that is, Land Registration Act 2002 and Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, which address those problems decently.