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    OPINION: The Struggle To End 122-Year -Old Land Question In Uganda – Minister Mayanja…

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    Calamity befell that area of Uganda original covering three counties, expanded to twenty through the 1900 Buganda Agreement curving it out as the first province of Uganda.

    The leadership of the original three counties had collaborated in the colonization of Uganda and still essential for the pacification, first of the seventeen counties newly conscripted into the first Province and the conquest of the other three Provinces.

    The calamity was in the form of a paradigm shift of land ownership, where Clan heads lost their trusteeship of land on behalf of their clans, to a position where land would be bought or sold like any other commodity.

    It was this commodity-the chunks of land grabbed and given away to collaborators. The chunks were neither surveyed nor did they have any known tenancy category.

    It was the 1908 Land Law which categorized them into two tenancies-Mailo and official Mailo. The official Mailo and crown land was publicly owned. The Mailo was private ownership in perpetuity with the right to disposal of it through sale or gift.

    Neither the 1900 Agreement nor the 1908 Land Law created any rights for “bibanja” -neither security of tenure nor formal recognition. Instead “bibanja” holders became tenants at the mercy of the Mailo landlords who could evict them without reprieve.

    The 1920s sow “bibanja” agitations calling for the abolition of 1900 Agreement and took strike action of not growing cash crops which hurt the colonial treasury. It became clear to the colonialists that an injustice had been committed in 1900 Agreement where only 3700 people out of 1,000,000 had been given land.

    The result of this “bibanja” agitation was the “Busulu” and “Envujo” Law which assured the “bibanja” of security in the occupation of their plots and freed them from the fear of arbitrary eviction.

    The “Busulu” and “Envujo” was fixed at 10 shillings per annum and was never revised until 1975 when it was abolished under the Land Reform Decree. By this time, the busuulu had become of more symbolic rather than of economic value.

    Mukwaya writing close to thirty years of passing the 1927 Law posited that: “It is rare for courts to grant orders of eviction against tenants who fail to pay “busuulu” or “envujo”. Any dues in arrears are legally considered civil debts, which are recoverable in the usual manner”. Therefore, even the non-payment of “busuulu” was not ground for eviction.

    There was no significant land reform from 1928 to 1975. Unfortunately, the Idi Amin Land Reform Decree which converted Mailo land titles into conditional leases did not have in its vision emolument of “bibanja” holders in land development of the Country. The Land Reform Decree largely remained a dead letter.

    The land question was in limbo until the 1995 when the constitution restored the Mailo tenure and also recognized the legal interests of “kibanja” holders on land titled under Mailo, freehold or leasehold.

    It guaranteed security of occupancy to “bibanja” holders under article 237 (8) and a constitutional undertaking for “bibanja” holders to obtain land titles under article 237 (9) (b). This was to be within two years of coming into force of the 1995 constitution.

    However, the 1998 Land Act and subsequent amendments thereto did not implement the constitutional guarantees to “bibanja” holders. Instead, the “bibanja” holders remained tenants essentially at will. They can and indeed are being evicted Willy Nilly. The solution is not in courts of law which regularly issue eviction orders.  Sometimes whole villages are brutally evicted, and their property destroyed.

    The President exercising powers conferred upon him under article 99 (1) and (3) of the constitution has in recent past issued Directives to protect the constitutional rights to security occupancy of “bibanja” holders.

    These Directives have included a ban of all evictions, prosecution of all those involved, including offering Government support to those evicted, to be brought back to their “bibanja”.

    Implementations of the recommendations of the Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire’s Report are expected to strengthen the President’s drive in answering the land question. The principles of adverse possession as given in the Limitation Act and Registration of Titles Act if applied can offer immediate solution to “bibanja” owners in the former so called lost counties of Buyaga and Bugangaizi.

    The Restitution of Properties to Traditional Rulers Act of 1993 should be brought into conformity with the constitution pursuant to article 274 (1) in order to eliminate ambiguity of land ownership and administration in the country.

    Time is up to the One Hundred Twenty-Two-year land question. Land is property per excellence. There is now an opportunity to address the issue squarely so that “bibanja” holders can become truly liberated.

    There cannot be dual interests of “kibanja”, and mailo or any other titled holder existing side by side on the same piece of land. It is in this scheme of things that the drive of President Museveni to give the final solution to the decades old land question must be supported and applauded.

     

    Dr. Sam Mayanja

    Minister for State of Lands

    smayanja@kaa.co.ug

    www.kaa.co.ug

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    NATIONAL

    Who Are The 26 Corrupt High Profile Public Officers Set To Vomit Shs.18.2 Billion? Parliament Tasks Minister…

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    Mityana District Woman MP, Joyce Bagala

    Members of Parliament have moved a motion that Anti-corruption day funds should be earmarked to victims of corruption.

    Appearing before Parliament during plenary that was presided over by Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, Mityana District Woman Member of Parliament, Joyce Bagala noted that a lot of statistics on money purportedly tracked down, saved and sometimes recovered is not backed by faces that allegedly stole such funds.

    Bagala contended that the minister reported investigation of 26 high-profile cases.

    “We need to know who these high profile public officers are and what was the outcome of the reported investigations warranting recovery of shs18.2 billion,” she said.

    Bagala’s statements follow a report from the State Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Rose Lilly Akello who noted that the Inspector General of Government (IGG) has investigated 26 high-profile cases and directed the recovery of Shs.30 billion, 86 cases were prosecuted and 34 convictions secured whereas the Auditor General made audits which led to recovery of shs.175 billion.

    She added that the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) of the police has registered 318 cases and through prosecutions and recovered Shs.615 billion.

    This comes ahead of the International Anti-Corruption day set to be held on Friday December, 9, 2022.

    During plenary today, Mityana Municipality Woman MP however insisted that the shs.452 million earmarked for the International Anti-Corruption Day should be re-channelled to victims of corruption.

    “The victims of corruption are mothers who die during childbirth due to inefficiencies in the health sector public schools without toilets and communities without clean water. The activities of the anti-corruption day would make sense by thinking of those affected by corruption.

    Kazo County MP, Dan Kimosho asked whether they can look at a sector approach and see what cases are investigated and what is done against the officers.

    “We cannot keep carrying the burden for the corrupt. Whoever comes here should be specific and not demoralize those who are working hard,” he said.

    Ntoroko Constituency MP, Gerald Rwemulitya also urged people fighting corruption to be free and bold adding that there are people shielding the corrupt.

    He propounded, “You here, ‘call from above, he is from my region & religion’. This vice has no side. We need to start attaching property of the corrupt.”

    Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga however moved a motion that the shs.452 meant for marking the anti-corruption day should be channelled to ‘the victims of corruption in Ibanda District’.

    He wondered why they should put this money to tents, balloons and chairs and yet victims of corruption are around.

    The 3rd Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Rukia Nakadama however revealed that preparations for the anti-corruption day commended earlier, insisting that preparations are already in high gear and some activities have already taken place and so if there is need in the near future, they should come early.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    NATIONAL

    Maj. Gen. Takirwa Appointed Deputy Commander Land Forces…

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    Major General Francis Takirwa has been appointed as Deputy Commander Land Forces.

    President Yoweri Museveni who also doubles as the Commander in Chief of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) also promoted and appointed General Officers.

    Maj. Gen. Takirwa will deputize Maj. Gen. Muhanga Kayanja who was also appointed as Commander Land Forces (CLF) in October, 2022.

    He also appointed Maj. Gen. Jack Bakasumba as Acting Chief of Staff Land Force.

    Maj. Gen. Bakasumba has been Uganda’s delegate to the South Sudan Peace Monitoring Mechanism as the acting chief of staff land forces in the UPDF.

    Museveni has also promoted Brig. Gen. Bob P. Ogiki to Maj. Gen and appointed him 2nd Division Commander.

    Deputy Defence spokesperson, Col. Deo Akiiki congratulated the General Officers upon their well-deserved promotion and appointments.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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    NATIONAL

    FOR PRAISING M7: Medical Association President Steps Down To Allow Independent Investigations..

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    Dr. Oledo praising President Museveni at Kololo Grounds

    The President of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA), Dr. Samuel Oledo, has stepped aside to allow independent investigations, according to Dr. Luswata Herbert, the Secretary General.

    Last week, during the Patriotism and Youth Investment symposium, Dr. Oledo appreciated President Museveni for the great job when he decided that all scientists must be paid well.

    “We request that you increase the salaries of our brothers and sisters in uniform, the soldiers, Uganda People’s Association (UPDF) prisons, and others.”

    He went ahead and knelt before Museveni and asked him to stand again 2026.

    This has since been condemned by a number of people who have termed his acts of kneeling as disrespectful to the profession and asked that he should resign.

    On 4th December, 2022, UMA released a statement disassociating themselves from the actions of their President Dr. Dr. Samuel Oledo and his Kololo team.

    Their statement read, “Uganda Medical Association is non-partisan and therefore does not participate in political activities of a partisan nature. The current U.M.A President attended the particular meeting in his personal capacity but not as U.M.A and
    his communications at that meeting were not representing the official position(s) of UMA.

    “Uganda Medical Association dissociates itself from any and all partisan political actions or acts, and is constitutionally required to do so. U.M.A is committed to remain neutral to and to serve all Ugandan doctors and persons from all the political dispensations of, and in Uganda and globally.”

    Dr. Oledo’s team of medical personnel with President Museveni

    Today morning, Democratic Party member and Buikwe South Member of Parliament, Lulume Bayigga said that Dr. Oledo should be brought to book.

    Lulume made these remarks while appearing on NBS’ Morning Breeze today following an incident where Uganda Medical Association (UMA) president, Dr.Oledo Samuel was seen kneeling before the president and asking him to stand again in 2026.

    Dr. Lulume noted that when they were in medical school, they were taught to be respected professionals and serve their country by treating people.

    “The engagement we wanted the UMA president to be part of would be to advocate for the improved welfare of the medics to serve the country better,” he said.

    Dr. Lulume added that the people who followed Dr. Oledu were not from Uganda Medical Association, and that’s why Dr. Mirembe is distancing herself from the act (endorsing President Museveni).

    Dr. Joel Mirembe, a doctor at the UMA noted that they are not against Dr. Oledu and just like the UMA statement noted, whatever he did, he did it in his own capacity and so they are here to protect the Association.

    He adduced, “It is sad that the doctors leadership body is invited to discuss a topic of political succession. That is where the issue is.

    “We have reached out to Dr. Oledu and he is okay and safe. He hasn’t commented about his action, he seems not concerned about what is happening.”

    Dr. Lulume however insisted that UMA will continue with its aspirations because it is Constitutional but what Oledo did scandalized the whole Association, and he must be brought to book.

    “Impeachment is one of the reprimanding measures, but the doctors will take the decision.”

    Dr. Mirembe adduced that Dr. Oledo is the President of the Uganda Medical Association, but what he did was embarrassing and wrong for the profession.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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