President Yoweri Museveni for the first time came out and revealed why he fell out with his hitherto favorite and all powerful state minister Aidah Nantaba.
According to the president, he developed an icy relationship with the lady from Kayunga after learning that her cabinet sub-committee against land grabbers was fond of defending illegal land claimants.
Museveni made the revelation at his country home in Kisozi while addressing scribes.
The president said that Nantaba engaged into land fights with some landlords in defense of occupants without making due diligence on the right ownership of land.
“My daughter Nantaba was sometimes defending liars. Some of the people she defended were sometime telling lies” Museveni said.
The president’s revelation came as he tried to explain why land problems continue to disturb the people.
He said that much as government tries to protect bibanja holders from being evicted, some of them are real thieves who tell falsehoods about ownership of land.
The president said that such a practice by fake land bibanja holders endangers the security of ownership of land in the country.
The president was however, tough on landlords who evict people after rejecting busuulu.
The president said that some landlords are conniving with judges to evict tenants claiming that the tenants are not paying busuulu.
The president promised to talk to the chief justice over this matter.
Museveni added that he was going to bring an amendment into the land Act forcing landlords to accept busuulu.
He said that in the new amendment, if the Landlord rejects busuulu paid by a tenant/kibanja holder, the tenant will take this busuulu [nominal fee] to the gombolola [sub-county] chief.
A furious president even described the landlords as greedy when asked by Red Pepper as to what he thinks is the reason why landlords are refusing the busuulu before he brings the amendments.
“In your opinion sir, why do you think landlords are rejecting busuulu before you talk of bringing a fresh amendment to the land Act” Red Pepper scribe asked him.
The president who initially referred to Red Pepper as ‘My boys of Red Pepper’, said that landlords are rejecting Busuulu because they are greedy.
“They reject busuulu because they are greedy and they are abusing my spirit of striking a compromise between landlords and tenants. Otherwise, I had a right to follow what Idi Amin did. Amin passed a land decree of 1975 banning mailo land but because I have lived here for a long time, [kkaawo kadda]” he said.
Museveni took time on this question bringing the history of land question in Buganda.
He said that the problems started when 1000 chiefs in Buganda were given land for betraying the country especially when they accepted to collaborate with whites to fight Kabaka Mwanga and Omukama Kabalega.
He said that when these chiefs he kept referring to as traitors got this land, they started exploiting tenants by asking for 1/3 of every produce they made as busuulu.
However, it later turned out that the tenants got fed up and wanted to riot resulting into the intervention of then colonial government.
On top of exploiting them, the chiefs were also allegedly involved in evicting people until the governor intervened and ordered for passing of the Busuulu and Envujjo law of 1928.
The law banned evictions unless permitted by the governor and also regulated the busuulu to only shs8.
Museveni said that when the chief saw that land had lost value, they together with their children started selling off the land to other people.
“If they were these people [1000 chiefs still owning the land], I would have been the first to cancel their land titles. They were traitors. When colonialists brought the Busuulu and Envujjo law banning evictions and overcharging tenants, these traitors started selling off the land to other people. That’s how people who were not part of the 1000 chief bought land. That’s why when I came; I said let’s make a win win situation. Don’t evict, don’t overcharge but remain with your land,” he said adding that ‘now they [land lords] don’t want to respect this compromise.
He said the land lords have started conniving with judges to evict people.
“They think they can work with the judges. I will not accept that.it will not work. We have fought wars and we are ready to fight even for land,” he said adding that the Namboozes have tried to block the land bill amendment passage in 2011 but he defeated them.
MY DAD’S STORY
The president sent the press into untold laughter as he tried to talk about corruption in government.
He said corruption has not just started but it existed even during the colonial times and post-independence governments.
He cited the example of his dad [late Kaguta] whom he said much as he never went to school, the man was in possession of key animal vaccines all the time which he used to get through unclear channels.
“This man had all dangerous drugs for animals. You could imagine open smuggling. He would possess all drugs including some from Rwanda. But this is a man who never went to school. This shows how corrupt the colonialists were and the post-independence governments” he said.
He however, added that corruption continues to disturb his government.
He blamed it on laziness among his people who are supposed to detect and fight corruption.
These are RDCs, DISO, Permanent secretary, CAOs and Town clerks/Gombola chiefs. Others are LC5 and LC3 who are elected by people.