● He says land grabbers are protected by police/army
● He wants Public to rise up and fight for themselves
● Mayanja condemns the judiciary where people run and obtain frivolous court orders which they use to evict others.
NEWS EDITOR MEDIA
STATE MINISTER for Lands in President Museveni’s government Sam Mayanja has rallied bibanja holders and the public at large to stop remaining seated, folding hands while their land is grabbed by powerful people he referred to as ‘foreigners’ who are protected by men in Uniform. Minister has asked public to rise and demonstrate, attack Parliament of Uganda, police and army installation saying, may be that is when their land rights will be respected!
In a trending NTV video, Minister Mayanja who was addressing media said, while executing his duties he has discovered that there is malpractice in the land offices and things are raising out of control.
He is shocked to realise that officials in the ministry he leads were part of a racket involved in issuing freehold titles on top of lease titles
“The registry of our own ministry which is supposed to keep our records is in connivance and issues out free hold titles on top of the lease hold,” a surprised Mayanja said while meeting various families which had complained to him about unscrupulous individuals who got freehold titles on other people’s leases and were now using police and the military to evict them.
He said this, a few days after he met different families which he says, he has helped to get back their land which had been grabbed by those he calls powerful people.
Several families petitioned minister Mayanja, accusing officials in the lands ministry of conniving with influential people to do double titling and evict them using the police and army.
Among these families is one of Ms. Margret Wasswa who told the minister how some one bribed the lands registry and was given a duplicate title on her land.
This person later brought soldiers armed to the teeth, to guard Magret Wasswa’s land and the rightful owner was barred from accessing it.
This elderly lady told minister Mayanja how soldiers came and arrested her and was taken away in order to silence her for good and the land grabber is walking scotfree!
Another family of Rev. Richard Kaaya from Luweero told minister Mayanja that the district land office gave a duplicate land title on Kaaya’s land which still is on leasehold.
According to the available documents, part of this land was sold to former Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.
Mr. Phillip Takussa, a member of this family told minister that he tried to engage these land grabbers but were guarded like war Lords. With them were armed soldiers, panga-welding men and those with big sticks.
“I couldn’t manage them! They instead arrested and started beating me up. Thank God I managed to escape with at least a fractured hand Otherwise I would be dead now.”
Mayanja said, courts which are supposed to be temples of justice instead, connive with land grabbers and give Orders to chase people from their land. The minister said, such Orders are useless.
A distraught Mayanja further condemned the judiciary where people run and obtain frivolous court orders which they use to evict others.
“How can we claim to be a democracy when courts are still issuing such (eviction) orders! Something is wrong! We must renew ourselves!” he said.
Asked how can the Lands ministry help hundreds of Ugandans chased on their land yet they can’t easily access his office for help, Mayanja talked about the land information system which will be digitalized and it is supposed to have all the titles of that system.
Without mincing words, Mayanja however called on the Public to leave their comfort zones when their land is being grabbed by the so called powerful people, he says, if courts, police and army have chosen to be in connivance with land grabbers, let public attack parliament.
On this the minister said, “If public keeps quiet, ‘foreigners’ and other people come and grab your land with help of guns, when the whole village is just looking on, District Police Commanders (DPCs) and RDCs feel not bothered and you also stay mute, your land will be grabbed for good. Because no one is willing to help, just rise up in big numbers, get drums (or any thing you can beat and it produces sound), attack Parliament and we see whether your voices won’t be heard.”
When journalists asked whether what he calls public to do isn’t against the Public Order Management Act (POMA), the minister who is a lawyer by profession replied that, “The police can’t be happy. We must make their lives unhappy. Me when i went to police I abused them. Can’t you be suspicious, If someone says he or she is the rightful land owner, then why bring police and army men to protect it?”
KATIKKIRO MAYIGA SAID IT
Mayanja’s comments came at the heels of a recent interview by Buganda Kingdom’s Premier Charles Peter Mayiga (CPM) on Salt TV in which he stressed double titling and corrupt police and court systems as top among the seven major causes of land wrangles in Uganda.
“If you go to the land office with money, you can easily get a title in one day on someone else’s land. This is what must be solved instead of attacking the Mailo tenure system,” Katikkiro Mayiga said.
The Katikkiro equally faulted the court and police system where land cases that take more than 10 years without being decided.
“If we can expedite political cases, why can’t we do the same on land cases? Why is the police land unit underfunded?” wondered Mayiga.
FINALLY SEING THE LIGHT
Mayiga and Mayanja agree that even before we think of land reforms, the government must put its house to order.
The Buganda land question has dominated public debate over the past years, with some people, including Mayanja and President Museveni, proposing the removal of the mailo tenure system.
While Mayanja is widely seen as an agent of the anti-Mailo brigade, his recent comments show that more can be done using the existing laws and land tenures to solve Uganda’s land problem.
Buganda has consistently advised that on top of combating corruption and incompetence in land offices, police and courts of law, the country just needs to improve soil fertility, fight land speculators and distance politics from land management.
“I hear people obsessed about Mailo land as being the problem. This is not true, we just need to address the issues mentioned above,” Mayiga said.
“For example, people evicting others are using guns owned by government. Why don’t we start by identifying and prosecuting those people that wrongly use government firearms,” he wondered
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