The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has cautioned President Museveni against employing populist measures to resolve land conflicts in the country.
His latest aggressive and unrelenting attack on the country’s land tenure system is causing unnecessary tension and insecurity.
He should forthwith stop politicizing land problems in the country, said FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda on Monday.
He said the content of his recent statement to the NRM leaders in which he attacked mailo land tenure system and declared Buganda Land Board illegal, should be ignored because it is a recipe for violence and will drive the population into breaking the law.
“The first time, Uganda carried out a population census was 1969 and we were 9.5 million people. We became 12.6 million in 1980 and 16.6 million in 1991, six years after Museveni had seized power. The 2014 census put our population at 34.6 million people and with an annual growth rate of 3percent, we are projected to be 44 million people today.”
Population numbers and growth is therefore the main source of pressure on land. That is what a sane leader and government must be dealing with.
“Even if you confiscate land from the Kabaka of Buganda and all mailo land owners like the Church and redistributed it, tension and conflicts will remain because of the sheer size of the population,” Nganda told press at FDC offices in Najjanankumbi.
The country’s fertility rate at 5.8% (number of births per woman) remains one of the highest in the world.
And according to latest UBOS figures, poverty levels grew to 21% percent (8 million people).
With a growing population, a big percentage of it poor and with impunity of well-connected people, evictions and land conflicts can only increase.
“Museveni alone occupies eight villages in Gomba for his Kisozi ranch, miles of land he didn’t have 30 years ago. Museveni should act as an example of his land policy by subdividing his Kisozi and Rwakitura miles of land and distribute it to the landless.”
He said the solution to land problems is partly industrialization and growth of service and other sectors.
Museveni should be embarrassed to rule a country for 35 years and 68% of its population remain in subsistence farming, Nganda noted.