Since its introduction, the Land (Amendment) Bill 2007 has met stiff resistance from the Mengo establishment. The government, as proponents of the Bill, has always made their case that it seeks to fight illegal evictions and when one reads the Bill, this seems to make sense.
On the other hand, Mengo and a number of MPs from Buganda have only been telling us that the Bill is “targeting” Buganda Kingdom where the Kabaka is the main landlord.
The interesting bit here is that the Bill’s opponents have not for once told us how the Bill is targeting Buganda. I have listened to many opponents of the Bill and none is answering the ‘how’ question.
Since the Bill is only hostile to landlords who seek to forcefully evict tenants, save for failure to pay ground rent, is Mengo then trying to tell us that the ‘Ssabattaka’ has plans of evicting some tenants in future for reasons other than failure to pay rent?
Are Mengo and its supporters telling us that the major landlord may in the future want to sell off his land without giving tenants the first option of buying? Or is Mengo merely playing the political hate card against President Museveni and his regime?
It is also on record that the same Mengo establishment once passionately opposed the 1998 Land Act whereas it is now turning around to say that the 1998 Land Act is sufficient and only needs rigorous implementation!
Ronald Leonard Egesa,
Africans should boycott national day fetes
On July 4 and November 26, President Obama led his compatriots in Independence and Thanksgiving celebrations respectively. Come December 12, Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki will lead 40 million empty stomachs to celebrate Jamhuri Day.
Americans are very conscious and proud of the fact that they owe their position as the most democratic and affluent nation and superpower status to their pioneers and founding fathers. Unlike the thieves who have run Africa down, the American people do not blindly celebrate their political holidays.
To them, these are occasions to pay homage to their liberty and prosperity. It’s a celebration of democracy that exists. President Moi and his corrupt ministers were in the habit of frequenting the American Ambassador’s residence each July 4 to celebrate US Independence Day. Kibaki is keeping this tradition alive. The same is true of other African countries.
Sick and tired of African buffoons blindly celebrating US Independence and Thanksgiving days while Africa’s own national days are a mockery of democracy, I urge the African dictators to abolish the continent’s stupid and wasteful political holidays and officially adopt America’s celebration of freedom and prosperity.
I call on all sane Kenyans to boycott this year’s idiotic Jamhuri fetes. Which right thinking person wants to celebrate vote theft, the post-election pogrom, starvation, corruption, mass unemployment, poverty and the culture of political impunity? What kind of independence does Africa have?
Soroti Airfield upgrade was never frustrated
We were dismayed by an article in The Observer of October 19, 2009 headlined ‘Opposition vote drew NRM to Soroti’ in which the Soroti Municipality MP, Charles Willy Ekemu, is quoted as having alleged that their bid to lobby for Soroti Airfield to become an international airport “has been frustrated by the Minister of Works and Transport” and the Managing Director of Civil Aviation Authority.
The article wrongly asserts that the construction work was to be funded by the United Nations. We wish to correct this wrong impression and put the record straight. MPs from Teso met the President and requested that UN operations at Entebbe be shifted to Soroti. The region’s MPs unfortunately assumed that the UN would find no difficulty in moving their base.
A technical committee’s financial estimates for the upgrade of Soroti Airport into an International Airport were close to US$10 million. The UN was reportedly not happy with government’s plan of shifting their base from Entebbe. It is therefore not true that the UN was willing to finance the development of Soroti Airport as their new operational base.
Nonetheless, CAA will in the medium planning lengthen the airport runway to enable it accommodate bigger aircraft. Government is also re-equipping the East African Civil Aviation Academy. In this respect, new aircraft have already been ordered, infrastructure is being upgraded and the plan is to have the runway lighting system installed by CAA. It is therefore not true that the Ministry of Works and CAA are frustrating Soroti Airport’s upgrade.
I.I. Igunduura,Manager, Public Affairs, Civil Aviation Authority.
Uganda must reinstate its social values
Mary Karooro Okurut raised a pertinent question: “What happened to the old tradition of the extended family?” (New Vision, November 24, 2009). This followed an incident in which an orphaned 14-year old girl stoned to death a 40-year-old man who was attempting to defile her.
Karooro’s article though articulate and informative, missed raising the questions that are critical to tackling the root causes of the problem at hand.
First, what happened to the powerful social capital and its networks that the NRM government inherited from the previous regimes in 1986? That social fabric comprised of parents, clans, neighbours, and local administrative structures, religious and civil organisations functioning in unity. This acted as a safety net that guaranteed the upbringing of children, especially vulnerable orphans and children from broken homes.
Secondly, what about the brutality of women themselves meted out to children of their co-wives? This is the worst form of abuse children go through, since the perpetrators are united in complacency.
Further, this madness of splitting Uganda along tribal and cultural lines to keep a family in power must stop. And also inciting violence among communities that have coexisted peacefully for years must be criminalised with stipulated penalties.
Social networks in the local areas must be revamped, strengthened and empowered socio-economically. The elderly who bear the burden of raising vulnerable children should be supported. They have biological, emotional and cultural attachment to the situation. Churches must repossess their schools and politicians should work hand-in-hand with them.
Cowardly MPs should be denied votes
If it is true that MPs from Buganda stayed away from Parliament when the crucial Land Bill was debated and passed, then they should be named and shamed so that none of these cowards can come back to Parliament. Whichever side of the Bill you believe in, you must stand up to be counted. Your people and not the President or the Kabaka sent you to Parliament.