KAMPALA. Lands minister Betty Amongi has said the ministry is finding it more challenging to manage Mailo land tenure system as compared to other systems of land ownership.
At a lands debate organised by Food Rights Alliance (FRA) under the theme: improve land use and tenure security to increase food security, yesterday, Ms Amongi said the law on Mailo land protects both the tenants and landlords which makes use of the land productively and management very difficult.
“As someone who deals with land matters every day, Mailo system is the number one challenging system because of the multiplicity of interests on that land,” Ms Amongi said, adding: “The landlords cannot productively use the land because the law protects tenants from eviction and tenants cannot use it productively because they do not have titles.
“That is why we are looking at how to disentangle it to make both landlords and tenants productive on the land. Amendments are in offing,” she noted.
Mailo land is mostly common in central Uganda. This is so because during the 1900 Buganda Agreement, all land in Buganda was divided into crown land, which was under the control of the colonial government, and mailo land.
Mailo land was further divided into land that was given to office holders and the other given to private individuals. The beneficiaries, by virtue of their offices included the Kabaka, who was
given 350 square miles and the ssaza chiefs who got eight square miles.
Economist Dr Fred Muhumuza said at the same event that many wealthy individuals; majority corrupt government officials are now buying everyone’s land in villages with the help of Lands officials to hide their stolen wealth.
He proposed that government fires all lands officials in districts where the ministry has cancelled titles, a clear sign of fraud, citing Bunyoro sub region where there is scramble for land after the discovery of oil.
“My cry to you[Lands ministry] is to go to the next level; in areas
where you cancelled titles, dismiss all these people… why would somebody be in office[after issuing fake titles],” Mr Muhumuza said.
National Planning Authority (NPA) chairman Dr Kisamba Mugerwa said although the Constitution says land belongs to the people, there should be a discussion on whether government can hold land in trust of citizens.