Museveni’s 2007 Land bill is useless


The UPDF officers are the real problem in land woes.  I suspect more trouble in Acholi as the people return home. mark you some of them were in the camps longer than 12 years and could not know or complain about their land.

The buck stops with the President. he knows what the crooks within the ranks are doing.  Is he is impotent  to act?

There is nothing new in the Bill. Nothing. Just because Professor Nsibambi says it is good does not mean anything.   The problem is clear or at least ought to be to those who think: how can the same land be 100 percent owned by both the landlord-title holder and the tenant?  Think about it.  So neither actually owns the land. Why? Because neither party has the freedom to do as they please with the land. But how can that be the case when you own 100%?

I don’t mean to put down anyone but in that house, no one has pondered that. May be some have done so but there voices have been neglected.

I am sure many folks in here drive. Okay, forget the folks in Uganda, may be they can have 100% insurance coverage there for their cars, but many of us who live outside Uganda cannot. Our deductibles and rates differ on the basis of several factors. Age, younger drivers pay more because they take big risks on the road and cause many accidents. Their deductibles are therefore higher. It means they must pay more out of their pockets to have their cars fixed in case of accidents too.

Women in general pay lower rates and enjoy higher coverage (lower deductibles) because they are generally better drivers. There are even regional differences depending on where one lives. recent immigrants pay higher because they have no history and some have maddu/akajanja on roads/behave as if there are nor cars in Africa  so they buy DMC and so on. Why is discriminations in insurance necessary?  Once again, what is the role of the deductible? It goes without saying that no deductibles no insurance market.

Can you imagine if drivers enjoyed 100% coverage?  They would never care and roads would be terrible.   That would be a moral hazard/people would cease to take precautions. That is pretty much what has happened in the land sector in Uganda.  There is a moral hazard. And the published land Bill which I have seen and read has nothing; I repeat nothing to cure the problem.   There is a solution, but the regime wants UPDF officers to grab more land. Tumukunde, Oketa, Tinye. Bogere, Salleh and many more.  Ge maddu But who were these people before Luwero? Nobodies, hence the greed.

And yes, ebibimba bika/what goes up must come down.  True dat. But Ugandan politicians are funny. They use people as ladders but once they are on top, tell them off.  Of course the fall is steeper if you come down without the ladders.

I suppose UPDF generals and NRMO MPs can demand 100% insurance coverage for their vehicles. Can the NRMO spin masters clarify this point?

I hope you can figure out the solution to the land question. I have laid it but will not solve it since it is a political issue.   Will wait for NRMO dudes to retort: “where are their [DP] ideas on the land question”. Bingo.  And trust me they will taunt the opposition because they are convinced they have a good bill. Wapi.  Having majority in the houses does not mean you pass any garbage simply because you have the numbers.

But this goes to the deeper problem in Uganda. How can a government lacking the capacity to draft a good land bill have any chance with the international oil giants?  How can a regime lacking the capacity to deal with ghost soldiers within its ranks have a chance in anything?  I mean if the regime lacks the legal and fiscal capacity to tackle simple problems internally, what chances does it have when it comes to oil?



About ekitibwakyabuganda

Ba Ssebo ne ba Nyabo, Twebaza Abaganda bonna abulumulirwa Obuganda . Era twebaza ne mikwano gya Buganda gyonna wonna wegiri munsi yonna. Omukutu guno gwatandikibwawo nga e’kigendererwa kwe kuyigiriza abantu ebintu ebikwatagana no’Buganda era nokuwanyisiganya ebilowozo nebanaffe abatali Baganda. Abaganda ne mikwano gya Buganda mukozese omukisa guno muwereze ebirowozo byamwe no’bubaka bwona obunaagasa Abaganda na’baana Buganda berizala mu maaso eyo. Obumu ku bubaka obuwerezebwa ku mukutu guno bugyibwa mukuwanyisiganya ebirowozo okubera kumukutu gwa Ugandan’s at Heart (UAH) Forum ogwatandikibwawo Mwami Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba. Era twebaza muzukulu wa Kintu ne Nnambi ono olw’omulimu gwakoledde bana Uganda bonna abali e’bunayira mungeri yo kubagatta mu byempuliziganya no’kutumbula okukolaganira awamu.

5 responses »

  1. Banks are there to make profit and protect their investments. They have taken many land titles as collateral. With this Bill, if the borrower defaults and they take over the land, they may not get much value from it because of the encumbrance of bibanja holders. So for the bank, this law is a potential loss maker.

    However, for the govt whose interest is to protect its citizens, the law is a reprieve. Continous accelerate evictions of bibanja holders is a potential loss maker for govt. If a revolution erupts around land, even the banks would make losses. Land issues and rampant poverty caused the French and Russian Revolution. It is not far fetched to imagine it causing something similar. To the NRM, this is a potential vote-looser and since they call the shots, they would not go out without giving a shot.

    > God Bless Uganda

  2. People have talked about land grabbing with respect to the Land Amendment Bill 2007. However, none has really sketched out exactly how this land grabbing will take place. Are you saying there are certain people who are not real bibanja holders who now want to become bibanja holders and use the bill to take people’s land? Is that possible? Most of the Generals people have sighted in taking Buganda land do so by buying it on a willing buyer willing seller basis. After buying this land, some of these Army guys have used their muscle to forcefully evict the bibanja holders.

    Ironically the landlords who sell this land, do so with the full knowledge that the new owners will do what they themselves could not or did not have the courage to do – evict the bibanja holders. The sky-rocketing speculation in land is the major cause of all this. Many landlords are stuck with land titles which they cannot put to effect because their land is occupied by bibanja holders – some as old as Binaisa! To many such landlords, their land is practically useless until some brazen courageous fellow comes along. They suddenly are able to make millions and leave the bibanja problem to the new owners!

    I need to know who land grabbing is going to be facilitated by this bill – and this should depict what is realistically possible not fiction.


  3. Mr Mataka:

    You hit at several issues pertinent to the debate.

    Yes there are people who are NOT real bibanja holders who now want to become bibanja holders under the law. Now suppose the Govt of Uganda had the capacity-me thinks it does not-to do things in order. For example take a census of bibanja holders. How many are there? When did those bibanja holders settle on the respective and so on? Don’t you think this would have been helpful?

    Let me be clear: real bibanja holders need to be helped. But they must also help mailo land owners to help them. They both need each other.

    Now forgive me for assuming, but you work for the Bank of Uganda so you should be versed in economics. What do you make of the 100% ownership to each party? Each owns 100% of the same land? Think about that. Sure there are cases of several bibanja holders on land, not sure how much they each own, but you could have a scenario where 10 or 20 bibanja holders ALL claim to own 100% of the land under this bill.

    If I may ask, who is the chief Government economist?

    b) Your point on UPDF soldiers is great. I say thank you for it because the govt doe snot want to face it. But let me pose some questions for you. Under the land Act, what doe sit say about evictions? Why are mailo land owners selling to UPDF -it is not done freely but out of desperation so the willing buyer-willing seller is not entirely true.

    Granted there may be a few cases but most of them seek out UPDF to sell to them at a discount and not market rates-again that cannot be willing buyer-willing seller. Now does or did the land act make exceptions for soldiers that because ‘batera embundu’ they can evict bibanja holders something original mailo land owners could not or are not allowed to do under the Land Bill?

    And the President tells Ugandans how much his UPDF soldiers sacrificed for the country! Further that NRMO ushered in a revolution, phew! A revolution of land grabbers and crooks perhaps. What structures did NRMO get rid off?

    Now this is the key question: how many UPDF soldiers who use force have ever been arrested? Nil. So what makes the Land Minister to believe that frustrated mailo land owners will not continue to desperately seek out UPDF soldiers for rescue? You as an economist agrees with me, do you not that what is going on between mailo land owners and UPDF officers is not willing-buyer willing seller. I bet you the land has been sold off at a steep discount.

    So do you agree with me that the Land bill is destroying value/wealth for the majority of mailo land owners and of course minting money for UPDF officers? It is apparently meant to protect bibanja holders but the real winners are UPDF officers. Go figure. And the losers are actually bibanja holders. If they won’t help out the mailo land owner, the mailo land owner does not care: he or she will look out for UPDF war veterans, the folks who ‘sacrificed’ and sell to them. ’The truth be said, UPDF soldiers are above the law in Uganda. The mailo land owner recoups something, but it is not what their land would fetch at market rates.

    You are ware of the Temangalo land scandal. For the UPDF officers the adage buy or acquire cheap sell high applies. Do you agree with me that the land bill has been a bonanza to UPDF officers and those with deep NRMO connections who can use the gun to evict bibanja holders?

    From my angle, UPDF/NRMO cadres are engaged in land speculation. I bet you there are agents somewhere on Kampala road –that Bar near Diamond trust building -who know powerful UPDF officers with ‘free money’-you know the poor record keeping in UPDF-looking for speculative land.

    Actually most UPDF officers and NRMO crooks use and to clean their stolen money. They steal from the L-C Cpl or evade taxes to go and buy land.

    Mr. Byaruhanga wrote in the Monitor what I felt is an important article. Why is the government rushing? Why not deal with the National land policy first? Would you agree with me that UPDF/NRMO officials may be trading on inside information? Is inside trading legal?

    They may have an idea what the national land policy will propose and so they are rushing to grab, you call it willing buyer- willing seller or a mass land at steep discount. Now suppose for the sake of this argument, the national land policy come out that Ugandan will let foreigners acquire land to promote modern agriculture. Who will make the kill? It is the lucky few and funny UAH folks claim that the land act is to undo historical injustices. Were Tumukunde and Tinye part of that historical injustice? My Foot.

    Now Mr Mataka, you raise an important point when you write “Many landlords are stuck with land titles which they cannot put to effect because their land is occupied by bibanja holders – some as old as Binaisa! To many such landlords, their land is practically useless until some brazen courageous fellow comes along. They suddenly are able to make millions and leave the bibanja problem to the new owners!”

    Indeed. But it does not have to be that way. The hold up problem-that is what it is called in Economics-also applies to bibanja holders. Do you agree with me that and is now an illiquid asset unless you know a senior UPDF to give you perhaps 30 or 40 percent of what the land would fetch on the market.

    Mr Mataka, I have a solution to the problem above. Yes, I have a win-win solution that will unleash value and wealth for all not just the lucky few using the gun to enrich themselves. It is efficient. It is equitable and above all eliminates the moral hazard you now see in the land sector.

    Every time I hear how UPDF is different from other armies I throw up. In terms of discipline sure, but greed for money, it is actually worse. No questions about that. We never had anything, I repeat anything like massive land ‘speculation’/grabbing by the army under Amin. NEVER.

    Now this is what I need to know from you and others on the ground: Will this amendment stop UPDF soldiers from doing what they have been doing, which is evicting bibanja holders? No. And that is why I used that metaphor -whenever I use colorful metaphors suddenly my e-mail account acts up and I get no messages from UAH-that made some uneasy. But let me use another metaphor. What the govt did was to put a band aid on a corpse. But seriously, I want you to be honest: does the amendment t address the eviction galore by UPDF soldiers?

    I need to know who the Chief government economist is. The land question should be of interest to economist and not just lawyers. The lawyers have screed up things.


  4. From 1900 to now, is only three generations.

    People should remember that before 1900 everybody owned their own land. Some could welcome visitors or those who asked in good faith to live on the property. Of course the Kabaka being the supreme leader at that time, could punish someone by having his land reallocated to another person but this was rare. In Europe where landlords were both owners of the land as well as administrators of the King, it was quite common for one landlord to be dispossessed by the King. For hundreds of years, up to now, a few people owned land. In most cases the warrior families acquired these lands by force by conquering and murdering the original owners or by the pleasure of the king. The bulk of the people were either squatters (bibanja holders) or they relocated to the slums of the sprawling towns like London or Paris. When there were wars (very frequently), these were the cannon fodder.

    So the phenomenon of kibanja and landlord only came to Uganda in 1900. So what long tradition are they talking about?

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