By Nicholas Muwanguzi
When Buganda introduced Ekyapa Mu Ngalo, the Kingdom’s name was put in disrepute by some Baganda. Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga was called names. Some said he wanted to grab people’s land if everybody got themselves a leasehold certificate of title. Nobody said how Mayiga would go around grabbing land titles of millions of Baganda. In his 50s already, how old would he be 49 years from today?
Yet the Katikkiro who was implementing a directive of the Kabaka was foresighted enough to know that the central government was up to something fishy. About three months after the launch of Ekyapa Mu Ngalo, the central government has tabled a bill in Parliament seeking to again amend the 1998 Land Act (as amended). This means that the government will wake up and take your land without compensating you if the bill goes through parliament as expected.
You have two options. One is ensure your MP votes against this bill. It is very unlikely given the way our MPs behave whenever the central government calls. The second one is most important one because it is your decision (not that of a greedy politician) to get a land title or not. If you don’t, you may regret the decision many years later.
Imagine, if the government of President Yoweri Museveni identifies your land and decides that they want it for a school, health centre or even an army barracks and you don’t have any documents that identify you as the owner. What do you think they will do?
They will bring in the military and take over your land and they will say they don’t know you. They will ask you for documents to show proof of ownership and you will have nothing. That is why Katikkiro has been pushing you to have your own leasehold title. That way you will safeguard your land.
This further explains why Tamale Mirundi and disgraced Sheik Noor Muzaata who were campaigning against Ekyapa Mu Ngalo first got their own titles. They know the government they are working for can do anything.
The next question you should ask yourself, where is the land government is interested in? The most valuable land in Uganda today is in Buganda. This is the land that is worth a lot of money. This is the land they want to take. Don’t think they are going to take land from some far off place in Kiruhura or Karamoja. They are coming for your land.
As you refuse to sign up for voluntary acquisition of land titles from Buganda Land Board, the government is planning to take away the only thing you have. Heed the message of our leaders and get yourself a land title so that you become more secure.
Also note that even if the government compensates you after taking your land, as somebody without a land title, you will get very little money. Money that won’t enable you get another piece of land anywhere.
If you know how this government works, get yourself a land title today.