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    OPINION: Historical Perspective Of  The Inevitable Bibanja Revolution: Despite The Reforms Of 1998 And 2010 Bibanja Holders Continue To Be Evicted, This Has To Be Stopped…

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    Hon. Dr. Sam Mayanja

    Mailo land reforms are inevitable. It was a tenure which as an instrument of colonial rule completely emasculated the Kabaka of all power over disposal of land. He ceased being a sebataka.

    The agreement itself was thumb printed, confirming the illiteracy of the Baganda leaders of the day. The contents remained secrete of the chiefs (to the extent as translated to them), missionaries and officials of the colonial Government until the mailo land allottees went on the land grabbing rampage.

    This land grabbing spree led to a state of restless movement in the countryside leading to, an unprecedented huge movement of large populations of people from one part of the Country to another.

    In the words of Bishop Alfred Tucker “the man in occupation had to be turned out and he in his turn sought his portion of land in another area …. The occupant of that other area had to be turned out, and so on and so on. Thus the game of general post went on merrily until the whole population was in movements. Streams of men, women and children going east with all their household goods, cattle, sheep, goats and fowl, met similar streams going west”.

    Apollo Kaggwa, the most powerful of the land grabbers in 1906 grabbed Butaka estates in Busujju and Gomba, exhumed bodies and expelled the attendants of these ancient graves. Kaggwa’s alley, Ham Mukasa, the powerful county chief of Kyaggwe, was also busy exhuming bodies in Ndejje (Kyaddondo) including the body of a King who had been interred there centuries earlier. Apollo Kaggwa also grabbed Bulingugwe Island which was traditionally a special preserve of Kings.

    The land spree so weakened the Buganda Cultural Institution that even Kabaka Daudi Chwa lost his Kingship authority and retreated to working under the shadow of the almighty Apollo Kaggwa, who would even insult the Kabaka in the Lukiiko. This mistreatment of the King by Kaggwa was to lead to Chwa’s Munyonyo exile and to his loss of interest in governance.

    The bibanja holders were forced to grow cotton and compelled to donate a part of their time-one month per year-as luwaro towards cotton growing. Envujjo was also imposed on the kibanja holder who in addition had to pay a hut tax to the colonial Government.

    Eventually opposition began to be manifested and came to be formalized through the formation of the National Federation of Bataka in 1920. In their written statement, the movement listed their grievances among other things to include being left without even an acre of land in their ownership thus being reduced to a position of veritable bondsmen and economic slaves.

    Other grievances included the actions of mailo landlords to sell all the land no matter how sacred they were for purposes of meeting their own selfish private expenses. That in this way, many people had been removed from their ancestral homes and forced to remove the bones of their dead relatives from positions they lay for generations. This was coupled with bibanja holders living on unsecured land at the mercy of chiefs/ mailo landlords.

    This agitation led to the enactment of the Busuulu and Envujjo Law in 1928 in which the security of tenure of the peasants on their bibanja was assured, and for the first time, rent and tribute were regulated by law. The protectorate Government actually forced the Lukiiko to pass the Busuulu and Envujjo law and this law has been widely hailed as a peasant’s charter had been tamed but not destroyed.

    The 1967 Republican Constitution transferred the official mailo to Public Land Commission, and the 1975 Land Reform Decree completely reversed the bibanja holders’ gains turning them into tenants at sufferance (emombooze). Feudalism as once again resurfaced and bibanja holders have once again been reduced to serfs in their own Country without a place to call home guaranteed by a permanent tenancy with ownership in perpetuity. Despite the reforms of 1998 and 2010 bibanja holders continue to be evicted. They are once again emombooze in their own Country.

    Peasants are generally not organised in their resistance to the landlords but they are beginning to form Bibanja Owners’ Associations and when these are a going concern in every village parish, county and district they will become a formidable force, in the confidence that God is on their side and that with time they will reach a point when they will dictate land reforms. But this dictation could take the form of open revolution with consequences too dire to contemplate as the evictees become the evictors.

    It is only the land reforms currently under consideration by President Yoweri Museveni under his National Resistance Movement Government, seeking to accommodate both the mailo landlords and bibanja holders to the satisfaction of both parties, that this bibanja revolution shall be nipped in the bud.

    It is in this scheme of things that His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni’s move towards the reform of the mailo tenure must be appreciated, understood and supported.

     

    Hon. Dr. Sam Mayanja

    State Minister for Lands

    smayanja@kaa.co.ug

    www.kaa.co.ug

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    NATIONAL

    Government To Rehabilitate And Revamp Railway Networks To Curb High Prices Of Fuel…

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    Government is set to revamp the railway networks across the country to help curb transportation challenges arising from increasing fuel prices.

    The state minister for works and transport, Fred Byamukama confirmed the report following the president’s speech on Friday regarding high fuel prices.

    During the president’s address, he noted Uganda’s real problem currently is fuel and the answer to it is electrical vehicles and the railway.

    Confirming the report, Byamukama said that the government is revamping different railways across the country with a purpose of reducing heavy traffic jam and transport fares.

    “From Kampala to Malaba which is 243km is the only line we have functioning at the moment,” he said.

    Byamukama re-echoed that Museveni reminded the country and gave a directive that he had earlier through the ministry of works and transport embarked on revamping the railway transport in Uganda.

    Byamukama analysed that the one from Malaba to Mukono then to Kampala and the one from Tororo to Gulu is 375 km.

    “Then we have Gulu to Pakwach which is 129km, Kampala to Kasese is 350km and also we have the one from Mukono to Kampala then Kyengera to Portbell which is about 55km.”

    Byamukama also revealed that the ministry is planning to introduce a modern standard gauge railway system in addition to the 1266km metre gauge railway volume with an agenda of improving relationship among the East African member countries.

    “The East African community members agreed, we have seen Kenya and Tanzania doing it and other countries. For us, we are delayed by that connection that Kenya must connect from Naivasha up to Malaba.”

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    FDC Boss Narrates How Former Kampala Legislator Nabilah Played 3 Top Politicians In 24 Hours…

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    Former Kampala woman MP Nabilah (L) and Kira Municipality MP Semujju Nganda (R)

    Maverick Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesperson and also Kira Municipality Member of Parliament (MP) Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda has revealed how former Kampala Woman MP Nabilah Naggayi Ssempala played 3 top politicians within a period of 24 hours.

    Ssemujju narrated that Nabilah used her beauty very well to capture the three men’s attention to fulfill her goal of winning the 2016 parliamentary seat.

    “I’m telling you Nabilah is a superwoman, she met president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni early in the morning at State House Entebbe, later in the evening she was with John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, who by then was a political enemy to President Museveni, the next morning she was with Dr. Kizza Besigye who was a political enemy to Museveni and Mbabazi by then,” he said.

    He divulged that when Dr. Besigye appointed him to his select team that had to accompany him to Namboole stadium for his nomination as presidential candidate, Nabilah was not in his plans because he was briefed with evidence that she was with Museveni and Mbabazi.

    He was also told that Nabilah was an operative sent by Museveni’s camp.

    Ssemujju revealed that he was very surprised to meet Nabilah seated close to Dr. Besigye the next day.

    He said that he tried to forcefully evict her from sitting near Besigye but he was advised that he was brewing trouble for himself.

    He insisted that most of the politicians in Uganda are like prostitutes without principles to stand on.

    He added that it is the reason why in 2021, Nabilah was with NUP’s Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu and she was fronted to contest against Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago.

    He narrated that right now, he knows that there are a number of politicians who are fighting tooth and nail to make sure that there is no cooperation between Dr. Besigye and Bobi Wine because they think that that if these two opposition heavyweights cooperate, some MPs will lose their political seats.

    Nabilah was not reached for a comment because she did not pick our phone calls.

    Nabilah recently suprised court when he testified against her husband Isaac Ssempala Ssebagala before the High Court Commercial division over a debt she ate from Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba who wants to take their family house for failing to pay back his money.

    It is alleged Nabilah got the money without the consent of her husband but now wants her husband to pay or surrender the house to Baryamureeba.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    Panic In UNRA As Top Bosses Face Jail Over Shs.100bn Kampala-Entebbe Expressway Fraud…

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    Kampala-Entebbe expressway

    The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) bosses may face jail over the Shs.100bn Kampala-Entebbe Expressway fraud.

    This shocking revelation was revealed by controversial lands junior minister Dr. Sam Mayanja during an exclusive interview with theGrapevine.

    Mayanja said that he has received a dossier from a whistleblower narrating how officials from UNRA and those in the Ministry of Lands defrauded government during the construction of the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway.

    “I have already established a select committee to investigate the fraud and I am expecting their report before the end of this year, but I can assure you, people are going to sleep in prison,” Mayanja said.

    He explained that when some officials from UNRA got information that government had entered into a deal with the Chinese government to construct the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, they immediately connived with Ministry of Lands officials and issued fake land titles so that they can be compensated by government.

    Mayanja said that it is the reason why government spent a lot of money compensating affected persons yet it is public knowledge that much of the land on Kampala-Entebbe Expressway were wetlands, forest reserves and gazetted road reserves.

    He said that the land titles were issued in the wetlands, forests reserves and road reserves all owned by government not private citizens.

    “There was a lot of fraud. How can you compensate a person with a land title in the wetland? Government is going to sell the properties of those UNRA and Ministry of Lands officials who were involved in the scam to recover taxpayers’ money worth Shs.100bn. And if we find out that the properties they own are not worth the money they stole, they will be imprisoned,” Mayanja said.

    He divulged that a similar scheme was used during the construction of the Northern Bypass where UNRA compensated top city tycoons for owning land titles in wetlands and government lost billions of money.

    The celebrated co-founder of the Kampala Associated Advocate(KAA), a renowned city law firm revealed that his boss President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is already equipped with all the information.

    They have also established that such money is being used by fake city tycoons to illegally evict bibanja owners from their land.

    Mayanja noted that the money which will be recovered by the government will be used to pay the big debt that government secured to construct such big public projects.

    It should be noted that Justice Catherine Bamugemereire and her probe teams both on UNRA and Land, discovered that the mafias hide behind land grabbers in UNRA and in the Ministry of Lands.

    Minister Mayanja revealed that the president is carefully studying Bamugemereire’s recommendations to squeeze mafias in his government.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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