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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

    Security On High Alert After Sunday ADF-Linked Bomb Blast Near Uganda, DR Congo Border

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    Uganda security agencies have been put on high alert after a bomb linked to the Allied Democratic Forces – ADF went off yesterday near Uganda, Congo border.

    The incident in the Eastern DRC happened at Pentecostal Church in Lhubirira, an immediate town located 4kms after Mpondwe border point. At least 10 people died on the spot and 47 others suffered injuries.

    “The terror attack shows that terrorism can occur any time and anywhere, and further reminds us all of the terrorist threats that we face as a country. Because of the existing threat environment, our Joint Counter terror task teams from CMI, Crime Intelligence, Counter terrorism, CID in coordination with territorial units, continue to operate with a heightened state of readiness. It is approximately, 425days, since the double terror task at CPS and Kampala Avenue that have led to several investigations, multiple arrests and recovery of an assortment of dangerous weapons. So far, 18 guns have been recovered, 1 PK gun and 116 PK rounds, 1 pistol, 7 IEDs, 21 electronic detoriators, 52 explogel explosives, 2 Axel blades, 2 emulsion explosives, an assortment of bomb making materials, walkie talkies, mobile phones, 185 other types of ammunition, and motorcycles etc. In addition, a total of 57 suspects (terrorists and rebels) have been arrested,” Police Spokesperson who doubles as the Joint Security Spokesman told the media in Kampala on Monday.

    And while those disruptive operations present a positive step in securing the safety of Ugandans, Enanga says that “there is still work to identify ADF cells of agents, collaborators, operatives and sponsors within the country.”

    “Several measures have also been put in place, to avert any hostile infiltrations and attacks at Mpondwe border and all other crossing points. For instance, we have stopped the movement of cargo and passenger boats across Lake Albert, intensified patrols in Bugoma forest and across the borderlines, bolstered security at major installations, markets and parking yards, and intensified intelligence on several targets among others,” he said.

    Enanga, however, asked the public not to be alarmed “by these steps because it is meant for their safety.”

    “We would like to further remind the public that the threats of terrorism are real, especially on soft targets, which are many and sometimes difficult to defend, especially restaurants, markets, shopping centres, public transportation hubs like taxi and bus parks, places of worship and other crowded places etc. as a result, we call upon the public to be extra alert and vigilant, as they go about their activities. Remember, the best defence against any terrorist threats is our collective community effort. Once again, please be alert but not alarmed. And report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the nearest police unit or security agency.”

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    NATIONAL

    City Babe Who Offered Room For Cousin & Her Boyfriend Arrested For Double Murder

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    The police are investigating circumstances under which two young adults died in a fire at Jinja-Nabweru on Thursday evening.

    The deceased have been identified as Patricia, 24, and Kajumba, 27.

    Findings show that the lovers visited Suzan Keitesi, 24; a cousin of Patricia on Thursday morning. Keitesi is a resident in an apartment at Jinja Kawempe Zone A, Jinja Kawempe Ward in Nabweru Division.

    However, the pair were found dead on Thursday evening in a suspicious manner, while Keitesi was rushed to a nearby clinic and later Kawempe hospital for first aid. She was later discharged that day.

    Suspecting foul play, detectives attached to Kawempe Police Station interacted with Keitesi on her hospital bed. Her statement looked uncoordinated. She has been detained as further investigations continue.

    Deputy Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire says Patricia and her boyfriend are suspected to have been murdered.

    “We have reserved the scene for further examination by officials from National Building Review Board, UMEME, and other stakeholders, to ascertain the exact cause of the fire. 

    Whereas the tenant had a gas cooker, it was in a store and it remained intact,” Owoyesigyire said. “We have however arrested Kaitesi Suzan on allegations of Murder as investigations continue.”

     

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    NATIONAL

    Aponye MD Harold Byamugisha Still Missing – Security

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    Police are searching for the Managing Director of Aponye Uganda Limited who went missing on Sunday night.

    Harold Byamugisha is said to have left home on Sunday dressed casually, promising his wife that he was to return.

    “The wife says he left home in a yellow shirt and white shorts. She said he called her around 11pm and informed her that he could return home in 20 minutes. He didn’t return,” Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire told the media yesterday.

    Byamugisha’s family has also put up an announcement, promising a Shs5m reward to anyone who can help them find him.

    “He was last seen in Ntinda on Sunday…driving his motor vehicle, a Range Rover, white in colour number UBF 017D. This is to inform the general public that whoever has any idea of his whereabouts, please call us on 0775363017, 07770611435 or report to the nearest police station. A reward of Shs5m is available,” the notice reads in part.

    But while reports emerged Friday morning that he had been found, security sources say Byamugisha is yet to be found.

    “He called us yesterday and said he is okay. But the wife who reported the case hasn’t physically seen him,” a security source said.

    Owoyesigyire says Byamugisha is still missing.

    “To us, he is still missing,” he said. “So, we are still looking for him and he is not safe and sound like he said.”

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