President Yoweri Museveni has cautioned local leaders to handle land matters carefully, in order to avoid mistakes that will discourage investors.
The President, who made the remarks while meeting a delegation of councilors and mobilisers from Kayunga District Local Councils at State House in Entebbe, said the investors pay taxes and create jobs for Ugandans.
He told the leaders that land matters need to be handled with care and that victims in Kayunga land wrangles will be handled by the Office of the Inspector General of Police. He also clarified that public land users are customary and lawful owners as the law clearly stipulates adding that squatters who bought plots from land owners should not leave their land.
“NRM leaders, you should speak the truth about the squatters’ land wrangles so that we can buy land for them and the matter is settled. But all these should be legal,” he said.
Mr Museveni urged the people of Kayunga to desist from land fragmentation saying land which is consolidated is advantageous because one can carry out large scale commercial farming. He called on all Ugandans to appreciate the need for a balanced national economy adding that people should not ignore other important economic sectors like roads, electricity, tourism, education and health.
He commended the Kayunga delegation for their forward looking ideas of nurturing markets not only internally but also at regional and continental levels.
“You are real Africans because you have mentioned the issue of the South Sudan market which is growing. We cannot be prosperous on small markets,” he said.
The President was reacting to remarks by members of the delegation who commended his efforts to bring peace in Uganda and to South Sudan following the recently signed peace deal signed in Addis Ababa and in Juba by President Salva Kiir and Mr Riek Machar. They noted that the peace deal between the leaders in South Sudan had increased market opportunities for Ugandan entrepreneurs.
The Minister of State for Lands who is also Woman MP for Kayunga district, Aidah Nantaba thanked the president for promoting development programmes and for entrusting her with the responsibility of following up on programmes that are aimed at enhancing the development of the people.