Guidelines on buying that customary land

Wednesday July 11 2018

Guidelines on buying that customary land

The land transaction should be guided by customary laws of an area. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 


There have been incidents involving land ownership across the country forcing the president to form a commission of inquiry into land matters led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire.
Here are guidelines you should follow when purchasing customary land.

Customary law transaction
Ismail Mulindwa, a real estate manager, says you have to purchase or sell through customary law and this is done under the native law and custom of the people where the land is located basing on their customs that are not contrary to law. Customary law is the legally accepted way of doing things by a set of people that is not contrary.
“The duties of the purchaser or seller does not matter rather the levies of the villagers, tribe and ethnic group where the land is situated. This type of transaction comes in with regards to land in villages, communities and some local government areas owned by the natives or sold by the natives.

Presence of witnesses
Mulindwa says sale and purchase of land under customary law is not a night time activity done behind doors to the exclusion of other persons. Rather, it is a business that is done in broad day light with its secondary celebration before selected and concerned persons.
“The buyer is expected to invite his people likewise the seller to witness such transaction, since customary law land transaction does not accept documentation,” Mulindwa says
Since acquiring land involves legal matters we talked to Ms Joanita Ndiwalana a lawyers and explains some matters regarding customary land .

Mutual agreement
Ndiwalana says there must be a meeting, understanding and agreement of parties’ seller and purchaser to produce a valid sale and purchase. The purchaser must be keen on selling while the purchaser is eager to buy both at agreed terms and conditions.
“Both parties must have an understanding of, the terms and conditions even though such need not be written. Purchaser must endeavour to meet and relate directly with the owner/seller,” Ndiwalana says.

Ndiwalana says the buyer has no total ownership as in the case of outright sale or disaffection. Payment of purchase price must be subject to an agreed amount part and balance and within agreed time,” Ndiwalana says.

Types of land tenure system
Mailo land
This land tenure in Uganda has its basis from the allocation of land pursuant to the 1900 Uganda Agreement
Freehold land
This involves permanent of land. It was set up by an agreement between the kingdoms and the British government.

This is a system of owning land for a particular period of time.
Customary land
Customary Land Tenure applies to a specific land areas and are governed by customary laws. Land under this tenure system is communally or jointly owned by particular groups of people.
Public Land
Under this type of land tenure, the government owns land and has the right to lease it to any company, organization or individuals on specific terms and covenants. In most cases, this form of land is not for settlement.