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Buganda backs Bamugemereire land probe

By Jeff Andrew Lule

Added 9th May 2017 11:10 AM

Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga said Police's failure to investigate land cases conclusively remains a big challenge

Buganda backs Bamugemereire land probe

Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga said Police's failure to investigate land cases conclusively remains a big challenge

Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga addressing the Buganda Lukiiko members at Bulange on Monday. Photo by Wilfred Sanya

Buganda Kingdom has blamed the land challenges in the country on the weakness of Police and the Judiciary, which they say have failed to exhaustively handle land cases before them.

Last week a land probe headed by Justice Bamugemereire kicked off its inquiry into land matters in the country.

"We strongly support the land probe because of the challenges the country is facing. But we need to understand where these challenges emanate from," the Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga noted.

Mayiga who was addressing the kingdom assembly at Bulange, Mengo in Kampala on Monday, said Police's failure to investigate land cases conclusively remains a big challenge.

"Court can make a just judgement if Police have investigated and gather the required evidence. If there is weakness in Police, court cannot judge justly. Some cases fail due to lack of evidence. At times cases come up and judges fail to show up, thus a reason why these cases keep on piling all the time," he added.

He also noted that government needs to consider population growth, which has more than doubled, yet the land is not expanding.

"On top of that, some land is exhausted and cannot yield anything, a reason why we can see cases of people invading wetlands," he said.

He asked government to promote modern affordable irrigation systems and promote farming in rural areas.

"Uganda has enough water sources countrywide which can be used for irrigation. Each family should also have a cow, goats or other animals whose waste can be used to boost fertility in people's gardens," he noted.

He said the problem of land is not ownership of Mailo land ownership as some people allege.

"Do not get deceived by that! When women undressed in Northern Uganda before the late Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen. Aronda Nyakayirima, was it because of Mailo land? Ownership on Mailo land has never failed government programs," he said.

Mayiga stressed that government only needs to change its strategies on how to acquire land for doing its projects to avoid fraudsters.

"Government should stop announcing its projects before procuring land for its projects. Can government fail to buy land for its projects? But the moment you announce that you intend to do this in this area, many will buy land in those areas and claim compensation like we have seen in many projects, thus ending up in high costs," he noted.

Mayiga said there is no need for a new law on land acquisition for public works, saying clear laws are already in place on how land can be acquired. "We cannot support the taking of people's land before compensation".

According to Lands Minister, Betty Amongi, government intends to amend the Land Act (1998), easing government moves to take over private land for national development projects such as roads and other infrastructure.

Already the same law allows government to compulsorily acquire land for public works but after compensation of the land owner.

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