Bamugemereire Clarifies Mailo Land Recomendation Top story

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In short
The Commission denies that it was established Commission was set up specifically to target land belonging to certain cultural groups like the Buganda Kingdom.

The Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Commission into Land matters denies that it recommended for the abolition of ownership rights currently represented by Mailo land tenure.
 
The Commission currently holding public hearings in Tooro says it instead urged that the different land tenure systems in Uganda should be fused into one tenure system.
 
The creation of one tenure system according to the Commission would introduce clarity and cohesion. Bamugemereire mid this month handed to President Yoweri the Commission's Interim Report.

The Commission notes that Mailo land is a form of freehold predominant in Buganda, with some peculiar historical characteristics and it recognizes this type of land tenure  and other forms of freehold available in Buganda and other parts of Uganda.

 
There have been Media reports that the Commission recommended  the abolition of the Mailo Land tenure system. The reports have  been subject  of debate in Buganda where Mailo land tenure widely recognized. Buganda Kingdom officials vowed to fight for its retention saying this tenure system is now synonymous with Buganda culture.

 
The Commission on Wednesday issued a statement to clarify on the Daily Monitor report under the headline: "Abolish Mailo titles, says land probe team" states that the Commission "recommended the abolition of Mailo land tenure in the country".
 
 A statement issued by the Commission's Lead Counsel, Ebert Byenkya says various media houses including the Daily Monitor appear to have misunderstood some of the Commission's interim recommendations.

The Commission notes that statements from various media have been peddling the  misrepresentation that the Commission was set up specifically to target land belonging to certain cultural groups like the Buganda Kingdom.
 
The statement says the Commission recognizes that in order to achieve fusion of the parallel freehold systems , it would be necessary to address the contradictions caused by occupancy rights that frequently affect Mailo tenure.

These contradictions according to the Commission include separation of rights of ownership from occupancy that has led to difficulties in the smooth operation of the Mailo tenure system. Meanwhile, the Commission says it made other recommendations in the interim report.
 
 The suggestions include the need to put in place and implement strong and punitive accountability and anti-corruption mechanisms in the Land Sector in line with a zero tolerance to corruption policy.
 
The Commission says it recommended that all land fraud investigations should be broadened to include the participation of the Financial Intelligence Authority, the Inspectorate of Government, and other key criminal justice agencies.
 
 
It also suggested that all illegally allocated and acquired government and 'public land' be recovered through cancellation of illegally acquired land titles and holding all those found culpable to account.
 
 
Government according to the commission was asked to urgently halt the illegal encroachment on protected forests and wetlands, and restore these to the status of 1990.
 
 
Other recommendations
 A consolidated and validated national database be urgently developed, that includes the NFA map data, the Wetlands Atlas, and government institutional land.

 Strengthen pre-land transaction identification processes by mandatory use of National Identification for citizens, and relevant documentation for foreigners.

 The re-establishment of District Land Tribunals as full time dispute resolution mechanisms with an expanded membership, and chaired by a Grade One Magistrate.

 Mediation function provided under the Land Act be re-structured to provide for the option of disputing parties to each appoint an additional mediator. The 2012 Draft Legal Aid Policy be expeditiously considered and passed by Cabinet.
 
 Interests of cultural institutions, religious bodies, and women must be represented in the composition of district based land administration and dispute resolution fora, and also within wildlife conservation and benefits sharing processes.
 
The Commission is chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire has since May last year been holding public hearings to inquire into land matters.

Other Commissioners are: Robert Ssebunnya; Oduka Ochan; Joyce Gunze Habaasa; Dr. Rose Nakayi;  Fredrick Ruhindi and Mr. George Bagonza.