HEARTLESS: In the photo above, a plantation in Bukoba village, Nalutuntu Subcounty in Kassanda district was harshly cut down as a result of land evictions. This is not done on Private Mailo Land as Minister Sam Mayanja alleges.
JUNIOR Minister for Lands Sam Mayanja keeps saying in his articles often published by New Vision that Buganda Land Board is illegally holding Kabaka’s land.
But the Mayanja i know, is a “senior” lawyer. When a lawyer is convinced that something is illegal, he goes to a competent court, brings it to the attention of the court and it is struck down.
The question should be, why does Sam Mayanja keep ranting in news papers other than going to court? The definite answer is simple. He is a smokescreen of those who want to grab Buganda’s land. He knows he is telling lies. But he knows if you keep trumpeting lies consistently, people may start taking your lies seriously. No wonder he is hiding in writing such articles.
I saw somewhere that he is turning down all invitations for a public debate about his assertions. Why? Because lies are better told when no one is responding. In such newspapers, i am told, they protect him against any responses. I hear they have decided that only his articles will be published so that his agenda driven lies face no rebuttal.
WHAT ARE SAM MAYANJA’S 8 LIES THAT HE KEEPS CONJURING?
- That the 1966 desecration of Buganda kingdom was a revolution.
What happened in 1966 was not a revolution but an illegal coup against the 1962 constitution. It can’t be sanitised by the word revolution. Revolutions happen by popular uprising against dictators and injustices. Not against a consensus built constitution. There was no popular uprising in 1966. It was just a one man’s overthrow of the constitution.
- That Buganda’s land is public land.
Public land means land owned by the government or its affiliated bodies and such land is administered by Uganda Land Commission. Even at independence, it was clearly shown that Buganda Land is not public land. That’s why mailo akenda (9000square miles) was never put under the Uganda Land Commission. It is why Buganda Land Board was set up to specifically administer that Buganda customary land. It is also why, when Obote extrapolated it in 1967, he had to put it under Uganda Land Commission and abolished Buganda Land Board to clearly show that he had stolen Buganda’s customary land and made it Uganda’s public land. That was wrong because well, where else is customary land in Uganda called public land? Can he answer that?
- He says, official mailos under Buganda Land Board were never confiscated but under the constitutional order of the day transferred to a public body.
This is not only laughable but absurd that a “senior” lawyer can spew such gibberish and he convinces himself that he is right. The land under Buganda Land Board was not public land. It was Buganda’s customary and cultural offices(Buganda’s traditional offices are first cultural before anything else) land. It is why in 1962, it was never put under the Uganda Land Commission. By putting it under Uganda Land Commission using his illegitimate constitution, Obote was in fact confiscating Buganda and Baganda’s customary land and turning it into Uganda government land. And to complete the robbery, he had to abolish Buganda Land Board.
So, as Obote used his illegitimate constitutional order to confiscate Buganda’s land, it is the same way the current constitutional order reverted that land to the Kabaka who is the sole person under the current constitutional order who is allowed to hold property which belongs to Buganda’s historical cultural offices and customary land in trust for himself and the Baganda.
- That 1962 constitution established Buganda Land Board to take charge of official mailo.
Buganda Land Board of 1962 was established to administer and manage former crown land now popularly known as ‘mailo Akenda’. Official mailos remained under the offices to which they were allotted because those offices were corporate bodies. The 350square miles was under Nkuluze. It was in 1963 that Ssekabaka Muteesa asked that Buganda Land Board also manages the rest of the official mailos to the benefit of the offices apart from the 350square miles which remained under Nkuluze. He wanted to streamline the administration and bring uniformity. He was not surrendering the land to become public land…..
- That the current Buganda Land Board is not successor in title to the 1962-1967 Buganda Land Board and therefore can not administer land which the later used to administer.
True, the current BLB may not be successor in tittle to the 1962 BLB, but the Kabaka of Buganda (Ronald Muwenda Mutebi) who owns the current BLB wholly and to whom it acts as an agent is a successor in title to all official mailos stipulated in the 1993 restitution of traditional leaders act plus all land which was administered by the former Buganda government which was abolished in 1967 as per the subsequent 2013 agreement.
Both the 1993 act and the 2013 agreement are legally binding and constitutionally sound due to art.246 of the 1995 constitution. Therefore, the current Buganda Land Board is legally managing and administering that land.
- That people on the 9000square miles are happily tilling and living on it.
Again, Mr. Sam Mayanja exposes himself here as someone not informed about what’s happening in the land sector, like MPs rightly pointed out during his vetting. In fact, he was one of the worst performers during the vetting sessions.
The current land evictions are mostly if not all are happening on mailo akenda (9000square miles). The cries of people we see on tv, read about in the papers are happening in Mubende, Kiboga, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Kayunga, Luweero mostly and consistently. What do those districts have in common? The evictions happening there are on mailo akenda (9000 square miles) which were wrongly put under district land boards after they were maliciously termed as land without owners. That was wrong because mailo akenda is Baganda’s customary land. So Baganda own it and it was preserved for them but district land boards have instead issued out freehold titles on them to mostly non Baganda who go about evicting customary tenants from them. But according to Mayanja, there is peace on mailo akenda. Funny? Isn’t it? But sad!
- That the 1900 agreement made peasants in Buganda landless.
This is another wrong assertion continuously peddled and I must say not only by him but by so many other people who told themselves that lie and continue to believe it and perpetuate it in schools.
The 1900 agreement took land away from the Kabaka and clans who were hitherto the owners of land since the Nnono conference between Kabaka Kintu and Bataka. Rather than taking away land from peasants, it instead curved out 8000 square miles to be shared by chiefs who were a result of the bukumbi agreement and any peasant who could make a claim over any piece of land on which they stayed and cultivated.
In fact, when you look through provisional certificates, you see people (peasants) who claimed from 1 acre to over 2 square miles of land. It is those who didn’t take trouble to claim land who lost out. Others claimed but didn’t survey the land, others surveyed but never titled. (That is the commonly known blue print land).
Peasants were not land owners before the 1900 agreement. They were bibanja holders. Some claimed land and became land owners, others remained bibanja holders after the agreement on other people’s land as they saw no need as they remained with their bibanja. So the 1900 agreement couldn’t have taken away from peasants what they didn’t own.
8. That he is set out to correct historical injustice.
Mr. Sam Mayanja looks like he is on a mission to use state power to extrapolate Kabaka’s land currently run by BLB to government so that probably him and his cronies and bosses can equally turn it into their private property like they have done with Akenda (9000square miles) when they took it to district land boards.
They now want to take over all land in Buganda after sharing akenda among themselves and also have their comrades living on private mailo to forcefully get land titles without compensating landlords most of whom have bought that land with their hard earned money.
In 1900, the Kabaka lost land. Sam Mayanja’s mission is to take away Kabaka’s land. So he can not claim to be correcting historical injustice by committing injustice and furthering injustice……on the Kabaka and the people of Buganda whose customary land he wants to permanently take away.
It is good the people of Buganda have risen up to defeat his machinations. The clear public backlash he is receiving both on social media and traditional media shows that the people of Buganda have read through his lies and mission and won’t stand them.
They know that Buganda’s customary land is safer in the hands of the Kabaka for he can not dish out freehold titles like the Sam Mayanjas do when it is under government. They know their security of tenancy is best protected when land is under the Kabaka. Under him, you cannot experience the Kanana coffee factory land, Kaweeri coffee land factory experiences.
They know that the current land law sufficiently protects bibanja holders against evictions but it is flouted by those with guns.
They know of encroachers who have been purposely imported onto Buganda Land and now the Sam Mayanjas want to give them freehold titles under the guise of protecting bibanja holders and correcting historical injustices. I will start from here…
The Writer Dorah Nakato is a Legal Expert on land matters and a Historian.
The News Editor Online welcomes your opinions on topical issues for publication.
Send in your Opinion to: email@example.com