Nambooze Betty Bakireke
The ranging battle over land matters in Buganda is not just another conflict between landlords and tenants. This is a deep rooted scheme to discredit and empower Baganda dissidents to overthrow the Kingdom; my mind keeps on telling me.
What perturbs me therefore is why Kattikiro Charles Peter Mayiga “unveiled a new land policy” that matches with the plan of the enemy?! Was this just a coincidence or it is a setup by enemies working within the Kingdom who laid the trap at the “right time and moment”?
Since time immemorial, Mr. Museveni has pre-occupied himself in matters involving land especially that of Buganda. From his work as early as the 1960s to date Museveni’s words are clear, he feels land should be in the hands of Government and not the people. He hates monarchies and blames them for every problem that befell Africa leading to colonialism.
He loves surrounding himself with rootless and powerless “cultural leaders” not reigning Kings with power and influence over their people. Like the King of Kings he wants cultural leaders to feed on crabs from his table not economically sound cultural institutions that Buganda under Mayiga wants to become.
In 1995, he expressed regret that he had lost out on land in the constitutional marking exercise. As a follow-up on his mission Mr. Museveni used Parliament to make a Land law that made the land valueless before the land lord by entrenching tenants and introducing dual land ownership.
Having fixed Busuulu to a worthless 1000/- token fee, landlords were left with little option but to sell off their land to powerful individuals who with assistance of the State have disregarded their own law to evict people across the country. The Kabaka of Buganda depends basically on his 350 Square Mailos of land termed as LUSUKU LWA KABAKA, the misery that befell landlords naturally made Buganda Land board to take similar options; sell or lease land. Yet these actions of the new Landlords are counted on the old landlords by Government propagandists!!
So when Museveni announced the formation of a commission of inquiry in land matters in the country, I thought that handlers of Buganda Kingdom as one of the biggest stakeholders in this matter would take note that he was out to use the commission to achieve what he had failed to achieve in all his previous actions.
Interestingly, Mengo through the Land Minister Kasekende didn’t only go before the commission to pledge total support but also offered the commission fertile ground to get into making proposals to further regulate landlord tenant relationship by making rather a redundant pronouncement that in fact now, they were going to give out leases to people on Kabaka’s land. But, anyway apart from being announced at a Press Conference to give reason to propagandists to start a debate and attack the Kingdom, this is exactly what Buganda Land board has been doing all the time.
Kattikiro Mayiga is dragging Buganda into Museveni’s trap for no reason. First by making a redundant uncalled for announcement without laying any ground to defend it, well knowing he himself is nolonger a carrier of good news to Buganda as he lost trust, respect and credit as a Katikiro. For four year’s Museveni has sustained through progandists a hate campaign against Mayiga, Buganda activities and the Kingdom in general yet for Mayiga soon as he got to Mengo he demobilized all people and Baganda associations that could counter these propagandists. It has left him, the Kingdom and Kabaka isolated amidst hate campaign and mis-information.
To the benefit of Museveni all machetes and daggers are being dangled against Buganda Kingdom, which ironically owns the smallest fraction of land in Uganda and even in Buganda. Museveni’s Ministers who happened to be the Kabaka’s Buganda civic Education committee that led the opposition to Museveni’s land policies against Landlords, Beti Kamya and Abdul Nadduli have been facilitated to dishonestly come out to bash Mengo over its “New Land policy” and warn people about “the worthlessness of a leasehold” as compared to a tenancy(kibanja)!!
I listened to a recording by Beti Kamya , deliberately telling lies to the public that unlike a Kibanja a parents cannot bequeath his/her Leasehold to his children at death, really?! Beti went further to claim that with each passing day, unlike the Kibanja owner, the leaseholder’s land losses value while the Kibanja gains value by day!! If these were to be words of a peasant somewhere, I would forgive her but Beti Kamya of all people to make such barefaced lies, leaves me with no doubt about the motive of Mr. Museveni’s government against my Kingdom and our land.
Beti Kamya as a Minister for Kampala would be the first person to welcome Kyapa mu Ngalo because in Kampala city no person can have his /her building plan approved without proof of a land title. KCCA its self owns land on leasehold and the stories we have been reading are that of subleasing (Imagine sublease) this land at billions of shillings. We haven’t been told of which KCCA land that lost value because the lease had moved for some years. Beti Kamya knows about the Bayindi who left leased property on expulsion by Amin whose children return today to renew their leases.
These myopic leaders consider all of us gullible; they have told the public that when a leasehold expires the land automatically reverts to the landlord but that ekibanja never expires; surely? On the contrary a leaseholder has a guaranteed period of 49 or 99 years renewable on expiration while a Kibanja holder’s interest survives on annual payment of Busuulu.
Of course Mr. Museveni almost abolished Busuulu and entrenched Bibanja holders onto people’s land but this fraud will end with his regime in a similar manner Amin’s decree with the same content expired with his (Amin) regime yet unlike the Buganda 49 year leases Mr, Museveni cannot make another 49 years in power.