Land Tenure Systems in Uganda.
Uganda is comparatively a vast country with a lot of un-utilised and under-utilised lan& Uganda’s land to a bigger scope is fertile and very excellent for large scale industrialization and farming. Land in Uganda is under various tenure systems under which citizens and foreigners can own and utilize it.
The following are the land tenure systems as enshrined in the 1995 Ugandan constitution:
1. Mailo Land System
2. Freehold System
3. Leasehold System
4. Customary land
5. Public Land
1 . The Mailo Land Tenure:
Land held under mailo tenure is confined to the Central region of Uganda. The system confers freehold granted by the colonial government in exchange for political co-operation under the 1900 Buganda Agreement. Essentially feudal in character, the mailo tenure system recognizes occupancy by tenants (locally known as Kibanja holders). whose relationship with their overlords or land lords is governed and guided by the provisions of the Land Act. Mailo land. like freehold is registered under the Registration of Titles Act. All transactions must therefore be entered in a register guaranteed by the state. Under this tenure. the holder of a mailo land title has absolute ownership of that land.
2. Freehold Land Tenure
It’s a system of owning land in Perpetuity or Time Without end and was set up by an agreement between the Kingdoms and the British Government. Grants of land in freehold were made by the Crown and later by the Uganda Land Commission. The grantee of land in freehold was and is entitled to a certificate of title. Most of this land was issued to church missionaries and academic Imstitutions and some individuals. Freehold is the premier mode of private land ownership under English law. The Land Act recognizes it as one of the four regimes through which access to land rights may be obtained. Its incidents are defined to include registration of title in perpetuity and conferment of full powers of ownership that is the power of use, abuse and disposition. Transactions involving freehold land are governed by the Registration of Titles Act (Cap. 230). There is little land held under freehold tenure in Uganda.
3. Leasehold system
This is a system of owning land for a particular period of time. In Uganda one can get a lease from an individual, a local authority, an organization/Company, an institution like
Buganda Kingdom or from Uganda government for a period usually 49 or 99 years or in between with agreed terms and conditions. The leasehold transactions being essentially contractual allow parties to define the terms and conditions of access and usage in such a manner that suits their give-and-take land use needs. A grant of land would be made by the owner of freehold, customary or Mallo or by the Crown or Uganda Land Commission to another person. The grantee of a lease for an agreed period of time is entitled to a certificate of title.
4. Customary Land
Land under this tenure system is communally or jointly owned by particular groups of people in a particular area. Land use under this tenure is usually controlled by elders, clan heads or a group in its own well-defined administrative structure and authority In Uganda. this land tenure is usually in the north, south and western Uganda. Over 60% of land in Uganda is held on customary tenure system. In this case. people own their land, have their rights to it, but don’t have land titles. Some tenants on such land allocate specific areas to themselves with known and defined boundaries usually marked by ridges, trenches, trees and provisional mark stones.
5 . Public Land.
Under this type of land tenure, the government owns land and has the right to lease it to any company, organization or individuals on specific terms and covenants. In most cases, this form of land is not for settlement: it is basically for business and usually located in urban areas such as Kampala and other big towns in the country.
Many people buy land without proper knowledge of the procedures. It is only after they have landed themselves into problematic transactions that they will now want to follow the right procedures.