Category Land

Land grabbing in the north may be an experiment for elsewhere in Uganda

By Peter Simon via UAH forum

For so long we have allowed misplaced hatred to govern us resulting in discrimination, destruction of property and loss of life. While all these things were happening to some parts of the country, the rest were happy and celebrating.

Now time has come for every Ugandan especially all land owners to face the same fate; if it becomes law that government can take any land for “development projects” and pay later then all will cry, maybe that will mark the beginning of unity. It started from the north and northeast with IDPs but once the project is concluded there, there will be a shift elsewhere, there is no mistake about it. This is a social experiment taking place, there will be no turning back; it is just a matter of time.

All Ugandans should not look at this issue as Amuru land or whatever; it is an experiment bound to spread throughout. I like development and land is one of factors (inputs) considered in localization of industry; any investor must factor the cost of one of the inputs (land) without which it will give false reports of profits/success. Let the investors or government negotiate with the land owners, agree on the compensation and pay for the land or give shares to the land owners, then proceed with the project.

Also, as Ugandans we should evaluate the success of investors where they already operate, how have such investments impacted the communities around where they operate. For instance, Ugandans should tour Busoga region to see for themselves how Madhavi Sugar Factory has improved the lives of people there so that we can expect some positive change for our people in Acholiland or any other place where such projects might be taken.

It doesn’t make sense to say it will improve the lives of Acholi people if same projects have not improved the lives of the people where they already operate. What will bring the difference?

Land in Acholi is the most expensive in the country

Acholi Men dancing


If it was not for the poor leadership to date, Uganda would have been way ahead of most African countries. As we speak, there are Ugandan entrepreneurs, who have against all odds have made it big, Some are held back by fear of surpassing the leading elites. Infact, i dare say that among them there are Acholis who have overcome the discrimination and and outright animosity from the current regime to do great things.

Despite the vast land in Acholi, per acreage, land in Acholi is the most expensive in the country.In large scale farming, Acholi exceeds all the regions.All this should count for something. That the people are able except for the leaders who simply shoot their way to power and end up not knowing what to do.

I don’t know much about the people in the diaspora, but one thing i know is that the money they remit home is sustaining the limping economy of Uganda and better still the people in the diaspora have taken advantage of free education and as such first generation Ugandans are well equipped, many matching George Okello’s number of degrees. These are the brains that should be fuelling Ugandans progress if it was not for the leadership, who feel threaten and now they have come up with some dubious exercise regarding duel citizenship, an attempt to throw to frustrate Ugandans children who are ready to take their knowledge back home. Smart leadership would given them incentives to entice them home lakini wapiiii!. That is why i think Acholi would benefit more with federalism because our need for federalism is not about “King and us”, but about progress, rule of law, and better still freedom to excel. Acholi at the moment is being held back!

Wwat Uganda needs is good leadership, one that is educated and follows world trend. What we currently have is village material who has no respect for the constitution and who is willing to lie through the teeth, who aids and abets corruption. Take a look at the way MPs are falling over themselves to rip apart the very constitution that they voted for. What hope is there for the country if the leaders can take bribes without shame? I am with Bobi Wine on this. I hope he does not turn out to be another of those you cannot trust.



It is now official that Dr.Museveni is embarking on a national radio campaign to explain his position on land matters i hope and pray that he gives his honest opinion. This is the third approach on the same subject in recent times.

He started with the obvious formality of going through cabinet to send an amendment bill to Parliament which move hit a dead end only to be prematurely withdrawn.

The second approach was the Bamugemereire commission which is gathering views from the public while sunctioning drastic actions along the way. After all its findings slightly before giving recomendations the commission will as is now known practice visit the great leader for his input. He will get hold of the entire report, get his legal and business experts to find areas where he will twist Ugandans to get hold of their land a thing he has wanted in vain since the bush war times.

It is alleged that during the war in Luwero Dr Museveni travelled extensively and he saw miles of bush land whose owners he couldnt figure out exactly. The story goes on to say that he promised him self to fix the question of land once he got his way. Now there is no doubt he arrived and it is about time to deal with the problem.

During the course of time new discoveries have been made on land in Bugerere, Busoga, Bunyoro and northern Uganda in general and it all adds up to the same un answered question hence the multi faceted approach.

The third attempt as i said is the radio arrengement. The President will be received by hired crowds as he visits different radio stations and after his presentation again pre organised callers will weigh in to emphasise or just support the big mans position. After he is done with the mock excersise official recordings will be made and combined with the Bamugemereire final report a new bill will be proposed and sent to Parliament and the expected result will be got using the numbers in the house.

Mean while there is a hanging dilema of big chanks of land owned by different people from the fevored class Dr Museveni him self is one of them his puported farmland at Kisozi was once a property of the Ministry of Defence. He has never explained him self on how the same farmland ended up in his private hands.

There are several strong men in the current Rwandan establishment who own square miles of land in Uganda and the explanation to this is not yet available.

Then there are investors who want to make development projects in Uganda but they want sizable land. Aparently some registered owners are in government or some how connected to it. I once came across such investors in Turkey three years ago who were complaining of having delt with one big man in government who promised them land for an industrial park in Luwero. On intorogating them deeper they admitted that they had paid big sums to the person but the promised land was un available to them.

There is another group of new players in this question of land and these are Balalo who have invaded Bunyoro with large hards of cattle. They occupy settle and graze their animals and when the owners make attempts to remove them they are confronted by armed personnel.

Recently there was a PR excersise where
Dr Museveni handed over a heap of land titles to the Katikkiro of Buganda but ever since those returned titles have never been transfered instead what we had was that the land on which state house sits does not belong to the Kingdom.

You have all seen reports of Gen. Akandwanaho giving back land to government in return for a fat pay. And here the fat pay is not important but how he obtained that land in the first place is the explanation every one would like to hear.

The above complicated scenario needs a scintific answer and the President in his characteristic style is trying all ways to reach to what he thinks will be the final position in regularising the questionable owners using the law.

My story is aimed at two groups one the general public to know the hiden intentions of the President so you dont get taken by suprise. Group two is that of Dr Museveni and his sellected beneficiaries. Dont waste your valuable time and resourses to manually fix land by twisting laws because this will not last and after a short while the true status will prevail and your efforts will have ended in vain.

The efforts we make to worn Ugandans and in this case none Ugandans are deliberate so that no one comes up in future to say WE DIDNT KNOW!!

A crook does not need the land bill to grab your land

The first noted case of land grabbing in Uganda’s history, happened after the signing of ‘The Buganda Agreement of 1900.’ The biggest beneficiaries were English Crown and Buganda Chiefs, who practically took land from the peasants and claimed “custody ” over those lands.

That “custody” has now turned into ownership of those said pieces of land that cover whole villages. Some or many of those new owners who are all Baganda, have being selling the land to other Ugandans and are now claiming “we grabbed the land‎;”

Related to the above points; Buganda was rewarded with land from the Bunyoro Kingdom, for collaboration. Those lands became known as the ‘Lost Counties‎,’ and to date are owned by landed gentry from Buganda;

A large section of Mt Elgon is settled by people from Central who live in peace with the Bagisu

What I am trying to tell you is that; in the greater scheme of things, Africa does not matter or matters little in the Global market.

A crook does not need the land bill to grab your land.Most land is stolen using a pen and paper.What your missing here is that the most valuable are the ones with mineral resources and that is what the new Land Bill is about.It’s not about grabbing land in Buganda but in North.

The main reason that tensions levels have kicked a up a notch is specifically because of Northern MP’s going postal about the proposed constitutional clause.

What both sides are not saying publicly is that there is more oil to be found and a new mineral of epic proportions, has been added to the economic equation. Uranium!

‎Enough said.

The Vatican is on a 109 acre land, smaller than the Lubiri but they’ve done better!

Far right Apolo Kagwa, second right Daudi Chwa (since he was born 1897, should we date the photo ca. 1915?), and in the background next to Chwa, Stanislaus Mugwanya. Who knows the names of the white men?
Collection Makerere University main library, Africana section.

Milk shakes come in all flavors, you can basically mix whatever you want add some milk and call it a milk shake. Looking a head the issue of who is a muganda will be a definition of a milk shake. We are up to a point where the lineage cannot be defined.This brings me to the issue of the Lubiri. I grew around this perimeter and I revered it together with the Bulange. It so happens that the Kingdom is so engrossed in collecting funds and they are putting the issue of maintaining the tribal aspects on the side. By the way I think you can definitely do both.

Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi as a youth

My idea of the Lubiri will be a big museum of the kingdom, to put it better the enclosure can be used to create the liking of a Vatican, a state within in a state. This will not only reduce the expense of the kingdom but it will consolidate all the aspects of the kingdom in one prime spot. The sky is the limit as to what can be done in an enclosure like that, ranging from using Luganda as the only language when you step in fence , Buganda banks ,school , a post office for each clan, let you minds roll. This can all be done in the concept that monies can even be collected, a hotel, in the enclosure, a function hall. I mean take all the Buganda kingdom and start running its business in one place. The result will be that with the concentration of all activities the pride to the kingdom will be restored and somehow we can preserve our history. Let us have a library for each and every king.

For those who think this is farfetched, Information from copied below illustrates how the Vatican works.

The Vatican is on a 109 acre land, smaller than the Lubiri. The Vatican City has its own post office, fire brigade, police service, commissary (supermarket), bank (the automatic teller machines are the only ones in the world to offer customers service in Latin, among other languages), railway station, electricity generating plant, and publishing house. The Vatican also controls its own Internet domain (.Va), it has the Vatican Radio.

This unique, non-commercial economy is also supported financially by contributions (known as Peter’s Pence) from Catholics throughout the world, the sale of postage stamps and tourist mementos, fees for admission to museums, and the sale of publications. The incomes and living standards of lay workers are comparable to, or somewhat better than, those of counterparts who work in the city of Rome.

The Vatican City issues its own coins. It has used the euro as its currency since January 1,1999, owing to a special agreement with the EU (council decision 1999/98/CE). Euro coins and notes were introduced in January 1, 2002. Due to its rarity, Vatican euro coins are highly sought by collectors. Until the adoption of the Euro, Vatican coinage and stamps were denominated in their own Vatican lira currency, which was on par with the Italian lira.
It also has its own bank, Istituto per le Opere di Religione (also known as the Vatican Bank, and with the acronym IOR).

Budget: Revenues (2003) $252 million; expenditures (2003) $264 million.
Industries: printing and production of few mosaics and staff uniforms; worldwide banking and financial activities.

· Almost all of Vatican City’s 932 citizens live inside the Vatican’s walls. The Vatican citizenry consists mainly of clergy, including high dignitaries, priests, nuns, as well as the Swiss Guard. There are also about 3,000 lay workers who comprise the majority of the Vatican work force, but who reside outside the Vatican. All of the City’s citizens are Roman Catholic and Roman Catholicism is, rather obviously, the State religion of the country. There are no other places of worship inside the Vatican City other than private Catholic Chapels and St Peter’s Basilica.

·The official language is Latin. Italian and, to a lesser extent, other languages are generally used for most conversations, publications, and broadcasts. German is the official language of the Swiss Guard. The Vatican’s official website languages are Italian, German, English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

In this world you either evolve or die. The thinking of those who govern the Buganda kingdom is locked in the past, it won’t be long when all those who call them selves Baganda will all be different brands of Milk shakes.

For God and My Country.

Dr.Eddie Kayondo, M.D
UAH member in USA

HON. OKELLO-OKELLO’s Statement to Parliament on the Issue of Acholi Land


Mr. Speaker Sir, over the last couple of weeks, Acholi land has become very topical. It is being discussed in various fora such as meetings, the media – both print and electronic, including the Internet and so on, from morning to evening, Sunday to Monday. It has attracted much attention not only here within the country, but overseas as well.


In 1900 the Protectorate Government signed an agreement with the Kabaka of Buganda – the Uganda Agreement, which was in 1909 amended to read Buganda Agreement. Under this agreement, land in Buganda was shared out among the Protectorate Government, the Kabaka, Chiefs and notables. The unit of measurement used during this land settlement was a square mile. Those who were allotted square miles of land started calling their percels “Mailo”, a word which was given legal recognition by The Land Law, 1908, hence Mailo Land. Mailo Land tenure is found in the districts formerly known as East Mengo, West Mengo, Masaka, Mubende and the former lost counties now Kibale District.

In 1900 and 1901, the Protectorate Government replicated similar arrangements, but on a much smaller scale, in the Kingdoms of Ankole, Toro and also in Kigezi and Bugisu. Land was given out to the Kings and Rulers in freeholds instead of Mailo. In Bugisu, only the colonial Chief Administrator, Semei Kakungulu, was given ten (10) square miles. In the North and East, people rejected the idea of sharing out the land between their leaders and the Protectorate Government. Any land that was not allotted to the Kings and other rulers automatically fell under the control of the Protectorate Government – i.e under the Crown of England – and became known as Crown Land till Independence in 1962. Anybody who wanted to lease land would apply to the Governor in Entebbe.

After Independence, the UPC Government decided that the control and management of the former crown Land should be returned to the respective districts. There were sixteen (16) districts at Independence. District Land boards were formed and land within the boundaries of their districts was vested in them.

In 1969, the Government decided that the control and management of land should be re-centralised in order to speed up development. Parliament accordingly passed a law, the Public Lands Act, 1969, which abolished district Land Boards and established Uganda Land Commission (ULC) to hold in trust, for the people of Uganda, the whole country, minus Mailo Land and freeholds.

The military regime of the late Idi Amin in 1975 promulgated the Land Reform Decree, No. 3 of 1975, which abolished all interests in land greater than 99 years. Freehold and Mailo interests were reduced to 99 and 199 years for individuals and public bodies, religious organizations and other charitable organizations, respectively. This was nationalization of property without compensation. The actual conversion of Mailo and freehold titles to conform to the decree never happened for reasons I cannot go into here.


The 1995 Constitution vests land in the citizens of Uganda. Articles 237 (1) refers. Clause (3) of the same Article provides for the tenure systems under which land should be owned, namely; Customary, Freehold, Mailo, and Leasehold. This means the majority of land in Uganda is now private property and is no longer under the control or management of Government.

The position of land in the Constitution did not originate in the Constituent Assembly (C.A). it was demanded by the people of Uganda. Please refer to the Report of The Technical Committee on Land Tenure Law reform, June 1993.

When one flies over Acholi land, the entire country-side is just a dark jungle. It looks like land just created by God yesterday and God is still thinking about creating human beings to occupy it. The owners of the land are for the last ten years interred in squalid Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camps, dotted along the roads and trading centres. The entire rural land now belongs to wildlife. It is sad.

Mr. Speaker Sir, for the last twenty years, we have talked about peace in the North; we have prayed in churches and mosques; we have held meetings, seminars and conferences without tiring. This is because peace has eluded that part of our country for so long. In the same vein, we have talked about Acholi land for more than a decade now. We shall continue to do so until there are completely no more threats over that land. Mr. Speaker Sir, there have been real threats over Acholi land as the following incidents will prove:

a. In 1992 the Government of Uganda signed a protocol with the Government of Libya giving away the following large chunks of land:

i. Bukaleba Beef Ranch 4,000 hectares

ii. Aswa Ranch 46,000 hectares

iii. Maruzi Ranch 16,376 hectares

b. In 1999, a company called Divinity Union Limited came up with a proposal to turn Uganda into what it called the Bread Basket of Africa. The land targeted for this proposal was basically in Acholi sub-region. Acholi Parliamentary Group (APG) fought this and it never took off.

c. In the same year 1999, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) moved to acquire Lipan Controlled Hunting Area and turn it into a national game park. UWA dealt with the then chairman L.C. V of Kitgum and the technocrats without involving other elected leaders such as Members of Parliament, District Councilors or even the District Land Committee. As a Member of Parliament for the area then, I was contacted when the matter was about to be tabled in cabinet for approval and subsequently to Parliament. I stopped it.

d. In May 2003, a programme entitled Security and Production Programme (SPP) was produced. The author of this programme is difficult to pin-point. The implementing agents were, however listed as: Ministry of Defence (MOD), Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Ministry of Water, Lands and Enviroment (MOWLE), Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Health (MOH). The proposal was to plan and turn Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps into permanent settlements. The three districts of Acholi then – Gulu, Kitgum and Pader – convened a meeting of about 380 selected people in Kitgum in October that year and the proposal was unanimously rejected, save for two or three people who supported the idea.

e. Again, in December 2005, as presidential election campaigns were gaining momentum, the Office of the Senior Presidential Advisor on Reconstruction of Northern Uganda, Luwero and the Rwenzori came up with yet another project called “Food Security First 2006 – 2010, Gulu, Kitgum & Pader”. The senior Presidential Advisor was none other than Gen. Salim Saleh. The project was to cost Shs. 92,181,230,000/=.

This project proposed to allocate two (2) acres of land to each family in the three districts of Acholi. Each family would then choose two crops to grow from among the list of crops given. The list of crops does not include millet, which is the main staple crop in Acholi. The question is: If the Acholi are on their land, who was to allocate them two (2) acres per family? What would happen to the rest of the land? How does one provide food security in Acholi without millet? And so on so forth.

f. During the recent tour of Acholi sub-region by APG, we received report that some unknown people had surveyed a huge chunk of land measuring ten (10) square miles under the protection of UPDF at a place called Got Apwoyo in Purongo sub-county, Nwoya County, Amuru District. APG went to this area and walked the thick grass looking for markstones. One freshly planted markstone was found. It was photographed and recorded on video by the journalists accompanying APG. APG also saw two large farms being guarded by UPDF soldiers. One was reported to belong to Col. Walter Ochora, RDC Gulu, and the other to Col. Charles Otema Awany, the 4th Division Commander. In addition, APG had received reports of a serious land dispute between a lady called Harriet Aber and Hon. Maj. Gen. Julius Oketta in Amuru sub-county, Kilak County Amuru District. This matter is now before court and I can not say much about it. The cultural leader of the area also put an announcement over radio MEGA F.M. appealing to the parties to the dispute to stop using UPDF soldiers and the gun.

The scenarios listed at paragraph 10 above are some, but not all the attempts that have been made to grab land in Acholi. In view of all this, APG met here in Kampala before the commencement of its tour of Acholi, which ran from 23rd November – 2nd December, 2006, and resolved on the issues of land as follows:

g. That it is wrong for anybody now to start acquiring large chunks of land in rural areas under the pretext of investment when the entire population of Acholi is still interred in squalid IDP camps. They should wait until the people have returned home and peacefully settled on their land. We think this is a reasonable demand, which any reasonable person should support.

h. We shall welcome investors, who wish to assist our people develop the land. However, such investors must go direct to the people, when they are already back home and should never go through the state or state agents.

i. That the investors should partner with the land owners where land will be used as equity in the intended investment so that the profits can be shared between the investors and the land owners. Such profits should not be carried wholesale back home by the investors.

j. Outright sale of land or long leases such as 49 or 99 years to investors are not acceptable, because our people have been made destitutes, and are not capable of negotiating fair deals with the investors. The idea is to avoid landlessness to our people or another Kibaale situation.

k. That those investors who may not want to partner with our people should hire/rent the land on short-term basis of between 5-10 years renewable.

l. That when we talk about land, we do not mean plots in urban areas. Those may be acquired by any investor any time. We mean the farm land in rural areas that can be acquired in large chunks — “the land that feeds us”.

m. That land grabbers, who use force or tricks to acquire the land will be fought in all possible ways. They are not different from any bank-robbers. Land is the only asset that the people of Acholi are left with. It should not under any circumstances follow the livestock.

n. That Government pays compensation to people on whose land IDP camps, Army barracks, Army detaches and any other Government projects have been established without their consent. The fertility of such land has been completely destroyed and will take years to restore.

APG put its position on land as above to the people at all the rallies it addressed during the tour. The people enthusiastically and unanimously approved APG’s proposal on land. Anyone who doubts can go and find out.


We appeal to our brothers and sisters who hold high Government posts, including ministerial posts, to really go slow. They should use their high positions to rescue our people who are being exterminated in IDP camps. Calling us names, insulting us or abusing us will not help our people. For whether they like it or not we are currently the elected leaders of the Acholi people at the highest level – Parliament. Remember, there were many like you before. Some of them are now like us. You will also one day be like us.


When we first saw in the Daily Monitor of Wednesday 29th November, 2006, that my brother, Hon. Daniel Omara Atubo, Minister of Lands, Housing & Urban Development had called a meeting in Gulu to sensitise Acholi leaders on land issues, we were at breakfast table in one of the hotels in Gulu. I straight away called the Minister and tried to persuade him to call off the meeting. The Minister insisted that it was a cabinet directive that must be implemented. APG met on the same day and wrote to the Hon. Minister.

The meeting went ahead, but in the end it was a big flop. Many categories of the invited leaders boycotted the meeting, namely; MPs, all the District Executives, religious leaders (except 3) and cultural leaders (except 4). This is the reason why the meeting had to be hurriedly shifted by radio announcement from its original venue at the World Vision Centre to Ker Kalkwaro (Lawirwodi’s Palace). First, to make it appear that Lawirwodi was now in support of the meeting. And secondly, by tradition no one can be sent away from Ker Kalkwaro, unless one has committed a crime there.

The attendance of the meeting was 90% NRM(O) people.

It is absolutely false to say that Lawirwodi blasted APG members for boycotting the meeting. He could not have done that and at the same time told the meeting that no one should think the “MPs are fools. There is no smoke without fire”. His statement is on tape. APG warns politicians who cannot convene their own meeting to steer clear of Lawirwodi. Please do not soil him with your dirty politics. He is for every body.


The Minister of state for Lands, Hon. Dr. Kasirivu Atwooki invited APG to meet with officials of the Ministry of Lands, Housing & Urban Development in that Ministry’s Boardroom last Friday. However, when we pointed out the inappropriateness of that venue, they kindly accepted to meet us in Parliament. The meeting was called off mainly for two reasons:

First, the Rt. Hon. Speaker had granted permission for this statement to be made on the floor of this August House. Second, the notice of the meeting was received when most members of APG had already committed themselves elsewhere and could not attend the Friday meeting.

As things stand today, we do not consider it feasible any more to meet Hon. Daniel Omara Atubo, Minister of Lands, Housing & Urban Development on this particular matter of Acholi land, because of the following reasons:

o. Stakes have now been raised to much higher levels than that of the Minister

p. The minister has no olive branch to offer as illustrated by:

i. Stopping publication of my interview on Acholi Land Issues in the Rupiny volume No. 9, November 29 – December 5, 2006.

ii. Blasting APG members on MEGA FM radio talkshow of Monday 4th December 2006.

iii. Ordering the management of radio MEGA FM not to host APG at the end of its tour of the Sub-region.

However, if Government still thinks that the matter should be discussed further after this statement, we shall be willing to attend a meeting convened at a higher level than that of the Minister responsible for Lands. For example, if such a meeting can be convened by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister/Leader of Government Business, but we are demanding it.


19. Governments all over the world must own some land. There must, however, be proof of that ownership. APG has been requesting those who claim that Government has a lot of land in Acholi Sub-region to come up with clear proof. They must, however, know that land owned by parastatals is not Government land. Parastatals are legal entities, which own land in their own rights. The current saga in the National Forest Authority (NFA) proves the point. Constitutionally, the only body that holds Government land is Uganda Land Commission (ULC).

20. After the inauguration of the current Constitution on 8th October 1995, there was some confusion as to which was now Government land. It will be recalled that at the inauguration of the Constitution, H. E. President Museveni did not hide his dissatisfaction with the position of land in the new constitution. Subsequently, a management meeting was convened in the Boardroom of the Ministry of Lands and Surveys, where I was the Commissioner of Land Administration, to discuss land and agree on a common position. It was agreed that Government land was : (a) that land with land title in the name of ULC, and (b) any land that had already been gazetted as Government land before 8th October, 1995.


21. Mr. Speaker Sir, we have been receiving some reports of unfortunate statements being made by irresponsible leaders in Acholi Sub-region. These careless and reckless leaders reportedly make statements to the effect that those us who are educating the people about their land rights do not know the forces behind the land grabbing in Acholi. That we shall be arrested or killed. We have no means of stopping anybody killing us. We place our lives in the hands of the Almighty God. But our message to such people is this: there is no better cause to die for.


22. It is a fact that, for the time being, NRM(O) Government is in-charge of the country. Therefore, all law-abiding citizens must work with it to deliver the much-needed services to the people of Uganda. On our part, as APG, we pledge our commitment to work with Government to particularly restore dignity, freedom and human rights to our dehumanized people in Acholi sub-region, Eastern Region and elsewhere in the country.

We appeal to Government, likewise, to work with us to serve our people. For now, we are the leaders of our people. A fact no one can wish away. In particular, we appeal to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister/Leader of Government Business to crack whip on some of his ministers who seem to regard those in opposition as less human beings.

Mr. Speaker Sir, we decided to treat this matter in great details, because it was, for no reason, becoming contentious. I sincerely thank you for giving us this opportunity. I thank the Honorable Members for listening to me.

For God and My Country





The 1900 agreement has not been superseded by the 1995 constitution and the 1998 Land Act, in respect of mailo land in its entire original application

The 1900 agreement has not been superseded by the 1995 constitution and the 1998 Land Act, in respect of mailo land in its entire original application. What they do is recognise mailo as the de jure land system in a kingdom in Uganda. The land matters, as per the 1998 Land Act, are no longer handled by Kingdoms, but by districts, except where it is leasehold.
Yes, Bunyoro Kitara is a kingdom, but it is not Buganda Kingdom, for which the mailo land system was created by the 1900 agreement. The 1964 referendum was a constitutional amendment, therefore recognition of mailo land as de jure land system in Kibaale by the constitution is unconstitutional. It is an anomaly that needs to be set right. The constitution should explicitly recognise mailo as the de jure land system in Buganda kingdom. Apparently there has been a lack of political will by both the Obote governments and now Yoweri Museveni’s government to address the issue.

For me I would not interfere with the agreement made between Britain and Buganda on the 8th October 1962, which basically recognises the Buganda Kingdom as prescribed by 1900 agreement as de jure, and which was eventually captured and carried forward by the 1962 constitution. Moreover the 8th October 1962 agreement transfers a substantial part of Her Majesty’s stake in the 1900 agreement to Buganda. This includes the 9,000 sq. miles of land which Uganda government has since commandeered from Buganda.

Secondly, I would harmonise the 1964 referendum constitutional amendment and give justice to Bunyoro Kitara as far as Kibaale (only) is concerned. That is why I proposed a compulsory purchase of mailo land in Kibaale by the government and giving the land back to the local authority of Bunyoro Kitara. I would indeed make the 1900 agreement untenable in Kibaale. About a year ago I saw in the BBC Teletext news that Museveni was given £40 million by the Gordon Brown government to purchase land which was given away by the British colonial government back to the original communities. Also about six months the Monitor newspaper published a list of “who owns the land in Kibaale”. And guess what? The majority of mailo land lords in Kibaale are NRM fellows, not the original Baganda absentee landlords.

I don’t know what was the outcome of the Bunyoro Kitara suit against the British government. The case was in the English High Courts in England. Perhaps Henry Mirima should clarify this.


Pilipo Oruni


LAND4The market for land collapsed long ago. And it collapsed because the govt messed up with the incentive structures. Actually several things are happening simultaneously in the land sector. The land bill Act of 1998 or 1997 offered full insurance to land squatters/bibanja holders/and so called bonafide land tenants (read land grabbers). I equate land to insurance. Once the laws was passed things fell a part literally. There has never been order/certainity in the land sector ever since. I invite you to wonder why it is that insurance firms discriminate on the basis of age, gender, and even race.

For some strange/stupid reason the cabinet of Uganda wanted to treat every one in the land sector the same. Actually tenants were treated better than mailo land owners which in the insurance industry would be like treating young male better than middle aged women drivers. In other words, the land bill should have taken into consideration quality. Quality of land/location/size etc but also quality in terms of ownership.

To privilege the tenant/bonafide tenant over the mailo land owner was the biggest mistake the bill made. It may be the case that tenant/bibanja holders have groups that represent them but not mailo land owners because the regime hates them even as the big men in the regime have become the largest land holders in Uganda not by birth, but through land grabbing, okay blackmail purchases. Anyone who cares to know knows that the President Museveni is now the largest land holder in Uganda (that is why he and the twatera embuddu clique eschewed efficient tools such as land taxation). The consequences are there for all to see: the opposite has happened to the land sector. The order the bill wanted to introduce is now no more. Truth of the matter is tat the land sector is characterized by chaos and uncertainty.

That chaos and uncertainty has led to the second problem: multiple land titles. Mailo land owners have the original copy which by law-gazette notice -has never been annulled. The crooks with the right connections have duplicate copies. Mark you, the ministry of lands is a den of thieves who create land titles for the NRMO crowd. under such an environment, land buyers can never be sure that the land they are buying belongs to the person selling it in the first place. That is where the lemon problem comes in.

What you saw the IGP doing is the equivalent of what buyers of second hand vehicles in the West do: demand a certificate from govt licensed garage to verify that indeed the car is not a lemon. It is costly. With the crime levels in Uganda, the IGP is now in the business of verifying land titles. How did things get to that level?

Things will get worse not better. I suspect that as Kony terrorized parts of northern Uganda, some ‘bonafide’ tenants may have taken over people’s land. Mark you the Land Act does not take such developments into consideration. If someone takes over your land and can prove that they have been on that land since 1986 (notice the cut off year) for 10 years, they can invoke the law to protect them.

Basically, the Land Act assumes that if you let -never mind whether you were aware or not-someone on your land for 10, you are deemed to have slept on your rights and therefore out of luck. The bonafide tenants has all the rights to be issued land titles.

The insight I want to emphasize on you is that if NRMO really wanted to create efficient land use in Uganda, BUT it should have used taxation. All holders of mailo land holders/other forms of land would be subject to a land tax. It would have served multiple goals. a) it is more efficient than the current land Act. b) there would be no such uncertainty with regards to land titles and therefore minimal chaos in the land sector. C) It would have been more equitable in the end. The logic is that you tax heavily something you do not like(NRMO hates land owner).. Those unable to pay the tax on the expansive land would sell to return portions they can afford to pay the tax on. It is possible the govt could have generated bilions in taxes since land can’t be hidden to vade taxes.. I told why taxation was not considered: it would hit the new kids on the land block.

As Justice Wendel Holmes famously observed, taxes is what people pay for civilization. YKM wanted to avoid land taxes for personal reasons and created the current chaos in the land sector. Similarly, he hoodwinked Ugandans when he abolished the only taxes most people paid so today they have no voice. How can Ugandans complain that YKM is hiring only his relatives when they pay no taxes? If they want that voice they have no choice but pay taxes.

Let the embattled land holders counter YKM’s land reform with a proposal to be taxed instead on their land holders. NRMO would then have to explain why a revenue starved nation would leave money on the table. As they say kyoyagala kikusezza (sp)/you pay dearly for what you treasure. Imagine if the land holders were to call a national press conference and announce that they are willing to be taxed on their land holdings. Things would interesting would they?

This the what Akerlof talked about. the land market is full of lemons hence the uncertainty. No one can be certain of the land title they hold. It has now become so costly to a level where the IGP checks land titles. The picture of IGP with scared Katoto checking land titles said it all: the land market is Uganda is no more. that is the uncertainty Akerlof talked about. The govt offices are responsible for the lemon business. No one can be sure of the land titles they hold. Former Finances ministers are not pared and so is NSSF. I will summarize the Akerlof paper with concrete Ugandan examples very soon.



How could Land Commission, and Kampala Land Board miss?!

Buganda Kingdom's new building at Katwe to be opened on 12/10/2012

Buganda Kingdom’s new building at Katwe to be opened on 12/10/2012

There are a good number of laws in regard to and in particular to land use, human settlements, building structure placement, water, drainage, railway lines, road reserves etc, every permanent building structure by law must be connected to a sewer infrastructure. In other words KCCA will tell you were to place your sock pit – (sceptic tank).

Full application of these laws will make all and every single town in Uganda look like any America, European or a modern Asian city!

Now, in urban centres, it is KCCA that has to give a right to discharge of waste water. The water act for example does not allow discharge of waster water in fresh water streams, river or lake. The same applies to drainage or storm water.

In the electricity act for example, there must be 25 meters reserve that makes 50 meters diameter from High Voltage power lines.

The above applies to railway lines and road reserves. I remember it is a similar law that applies to sewer pipes. People have built in these reserves.

The water act is also supported with NEMA. That you can’t build less than 50 meters from a stream and 100 meters from a major river or lake.

The question therefore is how come that all the above laws could be violated by KCC management and technical team, Physical planning board, the Land Commission, and Kampala Land Board?

In order for the above laws to be render redundant at least the physical planning board must sit and decide on the fate of the said land development i.e. change use.

Did the physical planning board sit in regard to placement of garden city, nakumatt, demolition of shimon etc?!!!

Lawlessness rein and so is the misery in our towns and cities. Otherwise plan the towns and cities and make sure you follow the law – Uganda will be up there -light years away in the sky.

Former Kampala Mayor Ssebaana Kizito has categorically and repeatedly said, Kampala City Land was sold legally. I do also agree with him.

However, he should make clear this position lest people misunderstand him.

I’m also hopeful this too, is a position that could be supported by his predecessor Christopher Iga, Hajji Ntege Nasser Ssebagala and their respective Town clerks.

What Former Mayor Ssebaana Kizito is saying might mean:

1.That land adjacent to Uganda railway lines i.e. land at Lugogo rugby grounds and other types of land in a with similar infrastructure was sold with the consent of the defunct Kampala City council (KCC), Uganda railways the legal owner, the Uganda land Commission and indeed with the consent of the department for Physical Planning Board in the Ministry of lands, that consented to change of use!

2.That land under High Voltage Power lines through Mulago – Bukoto axis was sold with the consent of Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited, Umeme, Uganda Transmission Company Limited, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and Uganda Land Commission under Mr. Mayanja Nkangi.

3.That Land which is adjacent to sewer lines and water pipers i.e. the one that pass through the Old Taxi Park, the Golf Course and Bunga where sold with the consent of National Water and Sewerage Corporation, NEMA and of course the department of Physical Planning Board in the ministry of lands, which consent to change of use and also the Land Commission under Mayanja Nkagi to whom land must revert and then reallocated.

4.That land along Lugogo bypass with multiple play grounds that have since been sold to developers, KCC mayors and their town clerks and council consented, that such land be sold with the consent of the Ministry of Education (should have had interest), that of Gender and Youth (should have had interest as Nakawa – Naguru residence and youth), National Council for Sports legal owners and through such consent, NEMA, National Road Authority, together with the department of Physical Planning Board in the Ministry of Lands, also consented to change of use and also Land Commission under Mayanja Nkagi to whom land must revert and then reallocated also consented!

5. That roads for example a road in Bugolobi which was built over, road islands and reserves i.e. those which had UMEME, former Uganda Telecommunication (Uganda Telecom Limited) and NWSC facilities, that all responsible organs of the state and agencies agreed to change of use, as provided for by the law and that indeed Uganda Land commission agreed to such change with the help of the department of Physical Planning Board in the Ministry of Lands.

6. That land adjacent to river streams contrary to NEMA rules and regulation was sold off with the consent of NEMA, NWSC and that indeed Uganda Land commission agreed to such change with the help of department of Physical Planning Board in the ministry of lands.

A similar scenario as in the above cases will apply, I will presume to placement or relocation of;

i. Shimon PTC and Primary School
ii. Allocation of Kololo high school land
iii. Garden City placement on Golf course
iv. Placement of Nakumatt a super market in a wetland and on a busy road side
v. Relocation of UBC land for Hilton hotel
vi. Displacement of part Nakivubo primary school
vii. Allocation of Nakivubo stadium to vendors and car parks

Daniel Bwanika
Nakyesawa Luweero.


SUMMARY: The debate on the shifting of the capital city is healthy and not new. After all, Kampala was not always our capital. The British had two reasons not to have it as one: it was hard to change the road system, for example, from the then existing ‘star topology’ to the desired British ‘Garden City’ tradition. Two, it was not convenient to have two sovereigns in one place. The British and Buganda monarch, together, at least according to one of the administrators then. Decentralisation of ‘a capital functions’, e.g. Parliament from civil service, Ministries, is healthy, especially considering the current traffic chaos, exacerbated by the ‘boda-boda’ menace. Others have done it and so can we. Nice reading.

1/5. The issue of a new capital is not new, even if we leave out Obote’s dream of moving to Mbale [after the proposal by a non-member of the Lukiiko , sitting in the gallery] that he should remove himself from Buganda land, since he had broken a mutual agreement….an issue the then PM of Mmengo maintains today, was never debated and passed by the Lukiiko] and the idea of some Amin men to shift to the better centrally placed Nakasongola.

2/5. The historical truth, un-adulterated b our own history of failing to manage our independence, bears out the fact that a shift to a better planned capital is not madness. Even the current Lord mayor of Kampala has once joked that may be the ever expanding parliament should move to Lweera [the empty expanse on K’la -Masaka highway, along L. Victoria].

How did Entebbe become capital?

3/5. In the 1890’s, the colonial administrator noted that Kampala [like Lagos in Nigeria was a pre-existing native city, planned and built according to the needs of the then Kingdom of Buganda. For example, while back in England, the ‘GARDEN CITY’ tradition and practice was very popular, where by streets were parallel to each other, with lend in-between cut into squares], Ganda road-construction was a ‘start-topology’, with the King’s palace as the hub. The Ganda practice was ‘simple-stupid’ but wonderful, as Stanly later came to admit: nothing like this was known even in Europe. How simple was this> In Buganda kingdom, ‘all SAZA [provincial headquarters] had to have a road, best if straight] reaching up to the King’s palace’-as simple as that. The construction was by communal contribution of manpower but maintenance was voluntary whereby each community/land owner or chief maintained that portion of the road passing through his area. Thus was born and sustained the star-road system that the Europeans found a spectacle worth beholding.

4/5. Since this system could not fit in the ‘square-planning’ of the garden city tradition, the local administrator had one option: virgin territory and Entebbe , because there was no other ‘boss there’ and because of proximity to the lake, was an easy candidate. What he did was simple: draw squares in the chosen space, put the governor at the highest point, a military garrison at the extreme end and the Nubian camp followers next. Hence, Entebbe became the first town in Uganda to be well planned and that is why the Post Office has found it easier today to introduce ‘home mail delivery’ [because of existing, predictable plot numbers, etc] here first, not in bigger Kampala.

5/5. CONCLUSION: The shift to a new capital or even the decentralisation of central government functions, to better places that can be better planned, is not worth debating any more. Even the Hon. Min. of Trade and Commerce [Jennifer Musisis’s nemesis] just suggested that, after the ‘caravan site’ [Centenary park] scuffle, giving Abuja, Dodoma, Lilongwe , etc as example. The trouble is still our bad politics: We are not in the sixties where, when the government plans for and budgets 22 hospitals, these will be in place on schedule and as designed/equipped. Today’s projects never achieve their design objectives, that is, when they start at all. The purchase of 30 million ID’s delivers only a few copies for the president and his cabinet. 170,000 bicycles [for the still illegal Local council chairs] disappear in thin air, so long as the concerned civil servants and middle men plead they funded the ‘big’ man’s re-election, etc.

As we prepare to mark the 50 years of failing to rule ourselves [like per UNC/ Musaazi’s slogan in the 50’s: ‘Abazungu baddeyo ewaabwe. Twefuge bubi naye nga twefuga’ meaning: “let the colonialist go back. We better be free, even if we may mis-rule ourselves” [how true his prediction became], …a few things can be noted:
1. the green of the ceremonial grounds had been destroyed, replaced by concrete.
2. The green parks [near Lugogo Shell, to the east and to the south of the airstrip] have been developed into concrete jungles. No wonder, buses from karamoja, Acolil, Kisoro, etc have to borrow parking space at a School [City High, whose land is already parcelled out], a distance a way.
3. the place is fenced, making it risky, in case of chaos.
4. Like musazi was imprisoned in moyo and binaisa in karamoja, the freedom fighters of 2de like Hon. Nsereko, Dr. besigye, Hon. mpuga, mayor Lukwaago, etc are imprisoned in their homes by the PGB, without court order. the police are the accuser, the judge and the executioner.

Good side:

the good side of the self-congratulatory exercise is:
1. There will be free food at Kololo, come 9th october.
2. All lawns and road-reserves around Kololo have been mowed free. Indeed, to those who have, more will be added. CONGRATULATIONS..

Christopher Muwanga,

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