Tuesday May 20 2014

Encroachers on Buganda land to face eviction, Mayiga warns

Katikkiro Peter Mayiga displays the artistic

Katikkiro Peter Mayiga displays the artistic impression of Masengere House, formerly known as Bulange Plaza, before the Lukiiko yesterday. The new building was unveiled at the weekend. PHOTO BY JOSEPH KIGGUNDU 

By Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa

Buganda will not hesitate to evict illegal occupants from its land if they continue to settle without clearance from Buganda Land Board (BLB), Katikkiro Peter Mayiga has said.

Addressing the Lukiiko at Bulange-Mengo yesterday, Mr Mayiga said many caretakers of the land had abused their trust and parcelled out big chunks of land without the approval of the kingdom.

“The most unfortunate thing is that people who claim to love Buganda and the Kabaka more are the ones implicated in such dubious land sales. We are not going to allow any body to sell kingdom land just like that,” the Katikkiro said.

“Whoever buys it must know that he is buying hot air and we shall evict them because when one buys a stolen item, he becomes a thief,” he added.
The Kabaka owns 350 square miles of kingdom land but a big chunk is occupied by tenants who have to acquire leases.

Mr Mayiga’s pronouncement comes at a time when officials from BLB are touring various counties in to identify land illegally occupied by squatters as well as sensitising them on how to regularise their tenancy.
The board was instated in 1993 to manage part of the assets returned to the Kabaka under the Traditional Rulers Restitution of Assets & Properties Act 1993.

Mr Mayiga also said the kingdom had instituted a team led by Mr Nelson Apolo Makubuya, the kingdom attorney, to draw guidelines on how the clan land will be managed .

He commended the government for returning 112 land titles to Buganda, but emphasised that many properties were still held by the State and should be returned.
He said out of the Shs20b the government owes Buganda in rent arrears, only Shs2b has been paid.