The Katikiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga, has strongly criticised the police over ‘weakness in fighting one of the biggest challenges currently facing the Kingdom’ – land.
Addressing the Lukiiko (Buganda Parliament) today, Mayiga, while commenting about the ongoing land wrangles in Buganda, said: “Why should one talk about Mailo land before talking about the police weaknesses? That is where everyone runs to when an issue on land arises and many land-related cases have been reported to police but they hardly yield any positive results.”
“Police has been so weak in investigating land-related cases that even the cases that reach court are dismissed because of lack of evidence. This in turn has worsened the situation,” Mayiga, a lawyer by profession, added.
Further, he said, corruption within government institutions has also contributed to the escalation of the land wrangles in the country.
Mayiga was apparently reacting to comments made last week by the Minister of Lands, Betty Amongi who, while speaking at the launch of the land probe commission, asked chairperson Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, to probe the controversial Buganda Kingdom’s mass land titling campaign dubbed: ‘Ekyapa Mu Ngalo’.
At the launch Minister Amongi emphasised that the campaign of leasing land to Ugandans by Buganda Kingdom needs to be revisited. “There is a total departure from the mailo to leasehold, which provides for conditions involving payments,” she said, adding: “We have private and official mailo land held in trust by the Kabaka and that owned privately. Interrogate the official mailo where bibanja owners settle as bonafide occupants are suffering yet the law protects them.”
The Buganda Land Board (BLB), a corporate body mandated by the Kabaka to manage land in the kingdom is carrying out a mass land titling campaign dubbed ‘Kyapa Mu Ngalo’ for six months aimed at ‘strengthening security of tenure for tenants on the Kingdom land’.
By press time it was not possible to get comment from the police or the lands ministry.