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Africa News of Wednesday, 9 June 2021


Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni slams ‘very bad’ Mailo land policy

Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda

President Yoweri Museveni has expressed dismay at the century long "very bad" Mailo land tenure system used in Buganda kingdom stating that it’s "an evil system."

"It’s not anywhere else in Uganda," Museveni said during the 32nd Heroes’ day anniversary at Kololo Independence grounds, Kampala, on Wednesday.

President Museveni severely disapproved of the land tenure system that was adopted in the post-1900 Buganda agreement era.

"It is really very bad and not fair but some people support it. How do you allow these things to happen?" he said.

For over a century, the Mailo land tenure system that includes an inconstant taxation fee on land ownership and presumed squatters - has been customary across Uganda’s principal traditional kingdom, Buganda.

Mr Museveni who is opposed to the system that subjects land ownership in Buganda to independent kingdom laws, customs, norms, and values, says there’s a need for reforms.

"Land owners should be entitled to full ownership of their land like elsewhere in Uganda. In Ankole, nobody can chase you away from your land. You even fear," Mr Museveni remarked.

President Museveni said he’s persistently perturbed by ascending concerns of people illegally displaced from their land induced by land grabbing cases related to the tenure system.

"I was surprised to hear that veteran Livingston Ssenabulya who gave us a forest during the [1986] liberation war had been chased from his land. The person who was chasing them, Namwandu Mulyante, was our person," he said while highlighting how the system deprives occupants of their rights.

He stressed that a report by the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire-led land commission was up for consideration.

"In Buganda, they have so many actors with each one saying this and that and it’s all against a small person. We shall see what to propose including on the issue of absentee landlords," the President said.

Explaining the choices of cabinet members in his new government, President Museveni said he’d opted for leaders that are people-oriented.

"Some of these politicians are neither with God nor with Satan but Judith Nabakoba was very strong on the side of the people in these land things. That’s why I appointed her[Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development], " he disclosed.

Earlier in his address, Mr Museveni echoed a familiar warning to those that intend to destabilize the ruling National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) 35-year grip unto power.

"Those who encouraged opposition to use force misled them. There’s no need to use force. We have a lot of capacity to deal with force. You can’t use war to dislodge NRM," he warned.