Presidential advisor on media matters, Tamale Mirundi, believes this time round his boss will lose the land amendment debate.
“President Museveni doesn’t have his own army. He is fighting against four factions,” Mirundi said Tuesday while appearing on NBS “Extra” programme.
The president was in Kabale on Tuesday to kick-start his countrywide radio campaign on land-related issues.
But his own media advisor says he [Museveni] can’t win the land debate.
“Religious groups, the kingdom, mafias and parliamentarians all have land that they will fight tooth and nail to keep,” Mirundi said.
“Let’s lie low on this land issue. We just have to wait and see how far this goes,” he advised.
Appearing on Voice of Kigezi FM radio station in Kabale Municipality last evening, Museveni wondered how the same government could legislate to grab land away from the same people whose rights it always protects and defends.
“We are the only country in the region and may be in the world, who legislated to give land to the people; otherwise elsewhere, land belongs to government,” he explained.
President Museveni explained that although the existing law allows government to acquire land in public interest, some citizens either stubbornly or due to corruption and collusion with civil servants, have been rejecting government compensation, engaging government in protracted legal battles that result in delaying the implementation of crucial government development projects and programmes.
Citing several road and electricity projects that have stalled due land owners’ rejection of government compensation or seeking unfair compensation, the President said that the proposed amendment to the land law is meant to ease government acquisition of land for only the development of public infrastructure such as roads, the railway and electricity.
He added that the acquisition must be done after compensating the landowner.
He said that government is even proposing several other avenues where a discontented land owner can reach out for an appeal in order to receive justice and fair compensation but at the same time ensuring that the public good goes on without losing time.
“The challenge that the government has is land owners who reject government compensation and run to court thereby making government projects stall. I even wonder what these liars mean by “government grabbing people’s land” and Ugandans must know these liars as their enemies and enemies of Uganda because they are against the development of the country,” the President stated.
“They are the same people who talk of unemployment amongst the youth but go on to frustrate government projects such as those in the energy and transport sectors that provide incentives for investment. They even frustrate investors directly as you are aware of the Amuru sugar project that has stalled for 6 years due to the same people,” he added.
“We need mass industrialisation to develop our country but these saboteurs continue to frustrate investors. I call upon all Ugandans to rise up against these people who are enemies of Uganda,” the President said.
“We even risk denting our country’s image internationally and being isolated because of the character of these people. We have to expose and shun them; otherwise the rest of the world will misunderstand us,” he noted
On the fight against household poverty, President Museveni called on the population to engage in modern agriculture that is commercial and profit oriented.
He also called for cooperation with the Operation Wealth Creation Programme officials. He said that Government has embarked on the promotion and use of irrigation throughout the country focusing on availing solar powered irrigation pumps in order to mitigate the effects of the long drought spells that have hit the country.
He further called on the population not to destroy wetlands and swamps and also refrain from cultivating on riverbanks and lakeshores.
He said that such activities contribute immensely greatly to climate change in the country.
He revealed that government has a program to resettle a small portion of Ugandans who could have un-knowingly settled in swamps especially during the colonial era and revealed that government has so far secured 24 million dollars towards this direction.