KAMPALA. Buganda Kingdom premier Charles Peter Mayiga last month directed the Buganda Land Board, (BLB), a corporate body mandated by the Kabaka to manage the Buganda Kingdom land, to issue land titles to all people who have settled on Kabaka’s land.

Buganda insists that the intervention is aimed at pacifying the increasing land disputes in Buganda region and strengthening the security of tenure on the kingdom land. The campaign, according to Mr Noah Kiyimba, the kingdom spokesperson, is in line with the various laws and legislations, in particular the Land Amendment Act of 2010, to issue leasehold certificates of title to all interested tenants on Kabaka’s land at subsidised costs.

But some sections of the public, especially those that are directly affected claim that Mengo is plotting to grab people’s land since it had the discretion of either renewing the 49 years’ lease or not upon expiry.
One of Kabaka’s subjects, Mr Male Mabirizi, has since filed a case with the High Court in Kampala seeking a temporary order stopping the newly launched scheme, arguing that it is intended to deprive tenants of their land ownership rights.

A public debate has ensued with critics: Mr Tamale Mirundi, the presidential adviser on the media and Mr Nuhu Muzaata, the spokesperson of Kibuli Muslim faction, describing the initiative as a ploy by the kingdom to deprive tenants on Kabaka land of their land that they have held for centuries.
Both Mr Muzaata and Mr Mirundi called for the sacking of Katikkiro Mayiga, saying he is plotting the collapse of the kingdom by imposing some of his policies on the people of Buganda.

In the middle of the heat, however, BLB last week issued a statement clarifying on the campaign.
“Buganda Land Board will continue with the innovative approach aimed at securing tenancy on the kingdom land as well as giving occupants chance and a conducive environment to develop their land. Acquiring lease hold is voluntary and those willing to maintain their kibanja status are free to do so provided they pay Busuulu and abide by the various land laws,” they said in the statement.

Buganda caucus MPs visiting the katikkiro on April 27, asked for at least 99 years. The minister for Lands while inaugurating the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire land tribunal, ordered the commission to investigate the issue of “Kyapa mu Ngalo”.

Mr Kiyimba on Friday issued two documents purported to be lease certificates belonging to Mr Mirundi and Mr Muzaata
“We decided to make the documents public to show you how insincere some leaders like Mr Mirundi and Mr Muzaata are. They have files with BLB and they have both applied for leases on Kabaka’s land,” Kiyimba said.
But Mr Muzaata disputed the document and instead asserted that the said land is not his but that of his father although the document bear his photographs.

Mr Mirundi told this newspaper that he has never and will never ask for a lease from Mengo.
“I only applied, and did that blindly in 2006 before I realised those people were not straight. By then the company that registered me was KK,” Mr Mirundi said.

Mr Kiyimba insists that “Kyapa mu Ngalo” campaign has come to save the masses from the “likely losses”.
The managing director of Sisimuka Uganda, Mr Frank Gashumba, challenged the kingdom to come up with a translation of what the public is supposed to pay to acquire a lease.

“But even with this demand, the initiative is a sham orchestrated by people who want to enrich themselves while enslaving the masses,” Mr Gashumba said.


Voices

“This drive primarily targets people in urban areas that have strict requirements like having lease certificates or land titles from controlling authorities before their structural plans can be approved,”
Kiyimba Kato

“But even with this demand, the initiative is a sham orchestrated by people who want to enrich themselves while enslaving the masses,”
Frank Gashumba

“I only applied, and did that blindly in 2006 before I realised those people were not straight. By then the company that registered me was KK,”
Tamale Mirundi