By Raymond Baguma and Henry Nsubuga
President Yoweri Museveni has called on political leaders in the country to defend tenants from being evicted unlawfully by landlords. Museveni, who was the chief guest at Mukono Independence Day jubilee celebrations on Friday, was responding to concerns raised by Mukono district chairperson, Francis Mukoome Lukooya, that landlords had refused to receive busuulu (nominal ground rent) from their tenants.
Lukooya said there was uncertainty and fear among tenants on where to take the busuulu, and the law is silent on this.
However, President Museveni said the law may be amended to provide a remedy to this. He urged people to report cases of unlawful evictions.
The Mukono North MP and state minister for youth and children, Ronald Kibuule, said a court in Mukono had recently issued an order against a woman only identifi ed as Tamale, and her house was consequently pulled down
In response, Museveni said the Government would not let landlords work through courts of law to evict tenants unfairly. “The tenants are Ugandan and we shall not allow them to suffer. We have to use political leaders and higher courts to fi ght this,” Museveni said.
Museveni noted that the fi rst decades of Uganda’s independence were characterised by sectarianism based on religious affi liation and ethnicity.
“DP was a party for Catholics, UPC was for Anglicans and Kabaka Yekka was for Baganda mainly attached to Namirembe.
We began on a wrong foundation. The fi rst years were wasted in tears, bloodshed, economic mismanagement, exile, breakdown of infrastructure, and national development stalled,” Museveni noted.
“The country was in turbulence until 1986. We involved women, people with disabilities and youth because we were nonsectarian.
Everyone has a purpose and can play a role in national development.
When we were fi ghting in Luwero, we brought this new creed of non-sectarianism to the people and they embraced it. Our victory in the bush was a result of unity and strength,” said Museveni.
The President also commissioned the recently acquired road unit for Mukono district, which includes a grader and dump trucks.
He asked district leaders to avoid wasting public funds in tendering out road maintenance to private contractors. He promised that the Government would tarmac the Kyetume-Katosi-Nyenga Road.
The President also launched a patriotism club in the district and promised that the Government would sink 10 boreholes to improve access to safe water.
He also launched a social welfare scheme initiated by the Mukono district administration to build free housing for poor and the elderly. He encouraged the district to replicate the programme and construct houses for teachers.
Present were MPs and local leaders of Mukono, Kayunga, Buikwe and Buvuma districts.