On His day two in Buganda as he launched his campaigns in this populous region, it was evident that the NRM presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni had to tell his fans his grand plans to solve the land question in this region.
Museveni on Thursday last week began his campaigns to seek votes from Buganda beginning with Kyankwanzi and Kiboga districts.
On day two, he raided Mityana district where the issue of land wars became a major matter throughout his rallies.
On day three while in Mubende, Museveni was once again confronted by the same matter.
The locals during his campaigns in Buwekula, Kasambya and Bukuya assured him that land evictions had become the order of the day.
Just like in Mityana district, Museveni labored to explain the three types of people who are protected under the law.
For example, he said that anyone who acquired land from a landlord or his trustee is protected by the law.
Secondly, a person who bought land from that person who was given land by a land lord is also protected by the law.
The same Museveni added that anyone who acquired land, settled on it before 1983 is also legally protected by the law.
“If you are among any of those people, you are legally protected. May be those who evict you use your ignorance to intimidate you” he noted in Mityana but people continued to shout land, land scandals.
The president was however, kind enough to the people because he gave them some ray of hope.
First, he said that as a short term measure, government fought tooth and nail to have the land Act amended and thus passed serious provisions protecting everyone’s interests on the land.
He however, said that the long term measure to land evictions in Buganda is to buy off the land lords so that all those who are settling on their land can own it permanently.
“When we came from the bush, we started on zero. We had to first build the economy. We wanted roads and electricity. We hadn’t put enough money in the Land Fund. The long term solution is to pay these land lords. They will be paid so that the land goes to those sitting on it permanently” Museveni told a mega rally in Mityana municipality on Friday.
The president was none the less able to have his point sail through but people kept murmuring though they welcomed his suggestion to pay off the land lords.
“Don’t chase anyone from land until we get money to pay off the land lords” he pleaded.
In Mubende district, the same issue of land came up.
While addressing his crowds in Budubaga village -Buwekula county, Museveni almost failed to go to his next rallies as people continued to cry to him over the same issue.
The president had to plead with the people several times to keep the issue to themselves until he finishes making his key points but the voices continued.
He finally agreed to address it. He first took them briefly through the law and those protected under the law.
Knowing that Ugandans are also smart people, Museveni candidly asked the complainants to come out clean whether they fall in the three categories of bonafide occupants of land or not.
“If you don’t fall under the three listed people, be honest and tell us the truth that you acquired that land illegally so that we can see how to help you if you are landless,” he challenged them but others claimed that actually, some of them are suffering because of alleged investors.
Buwekula county NRM flag bearer Maj. Joseph Kakooza assured Museveni that a certain investor had evicted six villages and is now landless.
Museveni didn’t stomach such a claim and thus summoned the area RDC to explain the mess in Mubende.
The RDC Florence Beyunga assured the president that, some of the evictees are quacks because they sell their land to investors but after being paid, they later return to reclaim it.
This sparked off protestations among the crowds and the president was quick to silence it by offering to explain the matters further on the radio and subsequent rallies.
Besides land matters, the president was also quick to address the issue of unemployment among most youths in Buganda.
His approach to this is constructing more technical institutes.
He explained that for now, there are more youths who are educated and are able to read, write, count numbers and also speak English.
However, these are unemployable because they lack skills.
In order to address this matter, Museveni is increasing on the number of technical institutes so that every constituency gets its own technical institute.
For now, government has constructed 100 of these and it intends to set up more 190 new ones; according to Museveni.
“Our children know how to read and count. They also speak good English but they lack skills. Therefore, we are going to work on skills development. Every county is going to get a technical institute. We want our children to be job creators. A skill is an important tool if we want to address unemployment. Carpentry is a skill, midwifery is a skill, welding is a skill. Our children must have a skill in order to be employable or create jobs themselves,” he said in Kiboga.
The other issue that Museveni struggles with in this region is untold poverty.
The president however, also blames people for being lazy. For example in Mubende, the president explained that the Mubende-Mityana road was constructed 20 years ago.
However, he noted that 20 years down the road, there are several people staying near this road but are still languishing in abject poverty.
“Someone walks on a tarmac road for 20 years but after walking on it, he goes to his home and poverty welcomes him. The first development project we brought here was that road. Now, you step on it and then branch to your poverty-stricken homes. Poverty welcomes you from tarmac to your house! Why?” he wondered to which people now claimed that it is because they lack electricity in their areas.
“We shall work on electricity but I want to ask if rearing pigs require electricity? Does rearing cows require electricity? Does growing coffee also require electricity? Electricity is important but what should concern us is getting rich. In the villages, there is not a lot of development but there is huge wealth. The problem is that the NRM secretariat is dormant. It doesn’t sensitize people. I am going to wake it up,” he said adding that much as people of Mubende have been supporting NRM wholeheartedly, they need to also fear God, avoid contracting HIV/AIDS and also work hard to bring wealth in their homes.
He said the government will work on the roads, electricity, schools, and hospitals among other development programs that concern the general public.