Some Baganda are very deceived if they say the 9,000 sq. miles of land was reserved for future generations of the Baganda! There is no where in the 1900 Uganda Agreement that you get such a thing. The New Vision recently published the whole of that document for their perusal. Please educate me and show where in that document it is written that the 9,000 sq. miles were “for Buganda future generations”. That is just a figment of their imagination.
Let me point it out to you that in 1900, the British did not see themselves leaving Uganda so soon after only 62 years! When they allocated themselves the 9,000 sq. miles, it was for the user of the administrators of the territory. It was also a show of power over the subjugated and colonized territory of Buganda! This is something many people forget. They did not only acquire this kind of land in Buganda but all over Uganda. This was land that the central authority of Her Majesty the Queen could use for whatever reason they saw as necessary. It is on this land they could build schools, hospitals, roads, industries, cities, etc. Some of this land was wild forest, swamps and marshes, rivers and lakes. If the British had been very interested in settling in Uganda, they would have settled their people on these lands from which the colonists would have spread to other areas. Please go read the text of the Buganda Agreement of 1900 again!
In 1963, when the British were prematurely forced to get out, they passed this land, over which they had been exercising full control, to the political authority of the time: Buganda Government. Remember Buganda was granted independence earlier with a provision to federate with the rest of Uganda. So at that point, there was no other public political entity that the British could grant the authority to manage the 9,000 sq. miles. When Buganda as a political entity federated with the rest of Uganda in 1963, they were still a political entity and the terms of the federation allowed them to control the 9,000 sq. miles in public interest. When that arrangement collapsed in 1967, Buganda government as a political entity ceased to exist in Uganda up to now. What they controlled was taken over by the central government and has subsequently been passed over to local governments in those areas. There is no political entity called Buganda Government in Uganda as we speak. What was restored in 1993 was not the Buganda Government of 1963.
Therefore there is no political entity to which central government can relinquish control of the 9,000 sq. miles. The nearest to this are the local governments at district level. And indeed all this land is currently controlled by the District administrations of Buganda region. So forget it, as constituted now, the Buganda cultural institution CANNOT be given control over the 9,000 sq. mls. They are not elected and neither are they accountable to any one.
From 1900 to now, is only three generations. Is this what some Bganda are calling “for generations”? Is this what some Baganda call a long tradition?
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?
UAH forumist working with Bank of Uganda