New cabinet to study white paper on Land Inquiry - President
NALI, KYANKWANZI: The report compiled by the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire will be studied by the new cabinet and also be recommended as a white paper to enable government tackle the issue of land management in Uganda.
“The the new Cabinet will study the report and write a white paper in response. The report shall be taken back to the public to feed in their views before implementation. That is why the team on the commission of inquiry into land issues came to enlighten the MPs elect at the retreat about land issues,” he said.
The President was yesterday, contributing to a paper delivered by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the Chairperson of the Commission of inquiry into Land Matters to the NRM MPs Elect, attending a political induction training course at NALI in Kyankwanzi district.
The paper titled the ‘Commission of Inquiry into the Effectiveness of the law, policies and Processes of Land Acquisition, Land Administration, Land Management and Land Registration in Uganda’ gave an overview of the key findings and recommendations of the land inquiry whose recommendation require bold action by government on land issue.
The President who was flanked by the First Lady Janet Museveni who is also the Minister of Education and Sports, noted that when the colonial government apportioned land in Uganda into Mailo land, Crown land and gazetted areas of swamps, forests and water bodies and game reserves, Uganda had no challenge of land fragmentation, which he said was caused by population increase and poor land inheritance practices.
According to Museveni, the report, once implemented, shall cure both current and historical land problems which have existed since the colonial era citing the mailo land that the british gave to chiefs and their collaborators in areas of Buganda and Bunyoro.
"I think, this report shall help us to dismantle the old and barbaric laws that for long have hard-pressed our people, please help me to stabilize the situation once and for all,"he said.
The President also decried the increasing land fragmentation that has been a common practice in areas of Kigezi, Rwenzori, Mbale, Busoga among others where people have continuously divided land into tiny pieces.
He blamed some of the NRM leaders who give a deaf ear to the advice of government against this vice.
“The issue of land fragmentation in the country should be addressed by law and also be properly legislated by the 11th Parliament. The MPs should sensitize their people that land should not be fragmented,” he said.
The President advised the people that to avoid any possibility of land fragmentation on family land, the members of a family should instead form a trust/foundation for them to use the land jointly and later share the profits as shareholders of the enterprise.
The President said the commission’s report gives government what he described as a ‘soft landing’ to handle cases of eviction, tackling wetlands management, road reserves provisions when connecting water pipes, lying cables of any kind and passing electricity installations.
President Museveni said that land matters need to be handled with keen interest, adding that Uganda's accelerated move towards industrialization has made land as a resource gain more value.
“Industrial revolution in the country has enabled land to have value. I want to thank Justice Bamugemereire and team for the findings into the land issues that have affected many people in the country,” he said.
Justice Bamugemereire said the report findings and observations hinged on aspects of land administrations and registration processes, Uganda land commission and the land fund that were not operated in accordance with the law, mismanagement of wetlands, forests, wildlife reserves, fraudulent surveys and issuance of land titles in protected areas, targeted compensation on government projects, land acquisition and land dispute resolution.
The Commission among other things wants government to addresses the challenge of the perceived subservient position of customary land by ensuring that all land including customary land is registered.
“All land in the country should be put on a register after an adjudication process,” Bamugemereire said.
The Commission also recommends the establishment of an institutional framework for administration of customary land within Uganda Land Services Bureau framework.
The Land dispute situation, according to Bamugemereire was found by the commission to be a pandemic, in which mostly the well-to do persons have obtained land through illegal means, bribing their way through all systems of land administration and registration.
Former Buganda minister, Owek Robert Kasule Sebunya, who was part of the 7-member committee asked President Museveni and MPs Elect to rebuke judges who simply issue court orders to court bailiffs to evict people in ackward hours.
The President later thanked the day’s facilitators for their far enriching presentations including the Commander of Defense Forces Gen. David Muhoozi who presented a paper on ‘Understanding Uganda's National Interests and Security Paradigm’ for promoting Pan-Africanism and regional integration, the Minister of Security Gen. Elly Tumwine who presented a paper on the ‘Historic Mission of NRM Revolution and the Role of a Member of Parliament in Securing the Future’ and Major Emmy Katabazi, the Deputy Director of ISO who presented a paper on the roles of security organizations ESO and ISO as rendering a service but not acting as force like UPDF.
The topics on Security and Sovereignty of the country were discussed by Major General Kahinda Otafiire the Minister of East Africa Community Affairs.