By Joel Ogwang
President Yoweri Museveni has decried rising incidents of land fragmentation, noting that this will retard Uganda’s future development aspirations.
He noted that in most cultures, land, a key asset, is divided amongst children when their parents and elders pass on, a situation that affects large-scale production.
On the contrary, Museveni asked parents to manage their properties like companies, with their children and other dependants acquiring shares so that their wealth does not ‘die’ with them.
“In most cultures in Uganda, when the head of a home dies, land is distributed among the children. This will create problems in the future because fragmented land does not create wealth for a home,” he said.
“When writing wills, you (parents) ensure that your children acquire shares in your property. For me, I won’t allow my children to sub-divide my land, but acquire shares that allow them to earn from what land and other assets can produce. If, in a family, there are 10 children, each owning 10 shares, it means each child earns sh1m when they earn a profit of sh10m. Parents should plan for their children so that even when they die, they are ok!”
Commissioning the sh4.5b Mbulamuti ferry that will operate between Izanhiro-Mbulamuti in Kamuli district to Kasana-Bugobero in Kayunga, Museveni noted that development is not an event, but a process.
He singled out Kabale district, noting that it is one of the most naturally endowed parts of the world with reliable rainfall, and fertile soils but, often, are forced to buy food from neighbouring districts because large parts of land there is fragmented.
“I must tell you this because I am very worried if this (land fragmentation) happens in the whole of Uganda. What we (government) are doing is developing Uganda, but this doesn’t guarantee wealth at household level,” he said.
Juggling between English, Lusoga and Swahili, Museveni noted development occurs through hatwa-ka-hatwa (step by step), with the state creating an enabling environment for it to occur.
“But wealth is made by households and individuals. It doesn’t make sense to have development without wealth. Creating wealth even in the smallest piece of land requires good enterprise selection,” he said.
When the opposition parties like the Democratic Party and Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) wanted to take-over government through the 1996 polls, Museveni said, the Basoga rejected them and voted NRM.
“The Baganda say kyosiga kyokungula (You reap what you sow). Busoga has consistently voted NRM for the past 20-years, and this ferry is one of the fruits of your support. Others are the Bulungu- Kangwale- Kaberamaido ferry that will link Busoga with the Kumam, Itesot and Langi as well as the Jinja- Kamuli road nearing completion and Wankoko- Kamuli- Bukungu where works will soon commence,” he said to raucous ululations.
Museveni, however, noted that whilst Kamuli district has been receiving sh1.3b annually through NAADS, there was hardly anything to show because much of the monies ended up paying salaries, wages and holding workshops.
“I have been begging NAADs officials to change their methods of work for over 10-years, but they failed. They have ‘eaten’ enough (money) and I have now sacked all of them. Solders have proved effective in Luweero, Bugisu and Acholi. They will now be in charge of extension works. There are over 200 constituencies in Uganda. We will recruit between 300 to 400 soldiers in all constituencies to ‘convert’ Ugandans into generating income and amassing wealth,” he said.
Acknowledging that with Uganda relying on Kenya and Tanzania to train its marines because there is no such school back home, he instructed the ministry of education and sports to start marine course at Busitema University and its constituent college, Namasagali College.
Among others, Parliament Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga asked Museveni to ensure that the Busoga railway loop was reinstated to ease transport between Buganda and Busoga.
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