Kampala, Uganda | URN | Uganda’s opposition, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has cautioned President Museveni to stop attacking land tenure systems and instead find lasting solutions to the land problems.
According to FDC, the president’s statement to the NRM leaders in which he attacked the mailo land tenure system and declared Buganda Land Board illegal should be ignored as it may result into violence and breaking of the law.
The party says President Museveni should stop politicizing land problems and offer feasible solutions to the land problems.
Speaking to reporters on Monday 15, November 2021 at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the FDC party spokesperson said that land problems in the country cannot be solved by changing the land tenure system but by planning for the large growing population.
He has attributed the rise in land conflicts to the rapidly increasing population of the country which according to UBOS is at 3.1% per year.
According to Ssemujju, land problems in Uganda are also caused by a big percentage of poor people and the impunity of well-connected people who use their power to steal land and evict people.
He says that the president being a large land owner should subdivide his land in Kisozi and Rwakitura and share it among the landless if he really wants land redistribution, but land redistribution cannot solve land conflicts.
As a solution to the land problems, Ssemujju has suggested that besides industrialization, the government should grow the service sector through the Condominium Act where people can buy space on top of buildings instead of owning land.
FDC’s strong position comes in the wake of President Museveni’s determined push against the freehold land tenure called mailo in Buganda region.
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President Museveni in a letter dated November 8, directed the NRM CEC to fight Buganda’s land board and tasked all CEC members to identify the “legitimate interests of the different groups of people” which he referred to as the crux of mobilization.
“Resist land evictions for bibanja owners and work for the emancipation of the bibanja owners and compensation of the exploitative mailo owner. Resist all schemes of okutemako (cut pieces from) of the bibanja owners’ land or Kyaapa mungalo (leases given by the illegal Buganda Land Board),” President Museveni’s letter reads in part.
The statements by President Museveni are in line with the views of junior lands minister Sam Mayanja who on October 7 claimed the board is in place illegally.
However, Buganda Kingdom has already guided that Buganda Land Board is duly registered and the NRM politicians should not confuse this with the defunct Buganda land board that was abolished after the 1966 crisis.