Kampala City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has advised the State Minister for lands Sam Mayanja to apply a speed governor in his overdrive mode to phase out Buganda Kingdom’s Mailo land tenure system.
Lukwago says that Mayanja, a Buganda leadership critic was recently appointed Minister with a primary assignment to fix a complex land tenure system which puzzled the colonial hegemony and continues to be a hot potato in the post independence era.
“Driven by his deep-seated diatribe against Buganda Kingdom, and perhaps overzealousness and excitement that comes with such appointments, Mr. Mayanja is in an overdrive mode to phase out the Mailo land tenure. I respect him as my elder in the profession and a brilliant fella, but I advise him to apply a speed governor as he revises the history of the Idd Amin’s Land Reform Decree of 1975 and the socio-political dynamics that gave rise to the current legal regime governing land ownership,” Lukwago said on Thursday.
Speaking during Heroes Day celebrations last month, President Yoweri Museveni expressed strong disapproval of the Mailo land system as “very bad” and ” evil.”
He blamed the rampant evictions in Uganda to the tenure system which is predominantly practised in Buganda.
Museveni’s strong utterances and decision to appoint a Mailo land critic Mayanja, a veteran lawyer, as junior Lands minister has since provoked Buganda Kingdom, which has a lot to lose as far as the system is concerned.
The kingdom recently issued a seven-point statement defending the tenure and instead blamed government, its agencies, and politicians for the land conflicts in the country.
“Land is the most important asset in most parts of the world that people can own, including [in] Uganda. In Buganda, land is the way of life as the kingdom’s cultural aspirations are based on land, hence titles like Ssaabataka for a prince, who is going to become the Kabaka,” a statement released by Buganda’s information minister Noah Kiyimba reads in part.
“Clan heads and elders in Buganda are known as Abataka. However, this scenario isn’t only prevalent in Buganda. The land is a major asset across the country. It is the biggest means of production since our economy is agricultural-based,” he added.
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