The analysis of the Land Tenure System in Uganda.

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Kampala International University, School of law.
Kampala exhibits informal urban expansion typical of cities in Sub Saharan Africa. Of note about Kampala's urbanization process is the extent of informality estimated to comprise about 60% of all urban developments. Though there exists a diversity of circumstances and factors that contribute to informal urban developments, this study focused on land tenure considered key in land development because being the rules underlying a people's relation to land, rules of tenure define rights to land, how these rights are accessed and even influence developments put on land depending on the security accorded to land rights. This study assessed the effect rules of tenure have on urban developments in Kampala by examining land access, land subdivision and land development processes (considered the three stages where informality can occur) in the land and property development process. Qualitative and quantitative methods including key informant interviews, household intervievvs, literature review, observation, in-depth interviews and case studies were applied in data collection. Research findings show that land in Kampala is held under the Mailo, Leasehold, Freehold and Customary tenure systems with Maio being the dominant land tenure system and Customary tenure being negligible. A defining characteristic of land holding in Kampala is the separation of land ownership from the ownership of developments on land, designed to accommodate rights of occupants (called Kibanja occupants) who own developments on land under the Mailo and Freehold tenure systems. Rights ascribed to occupants and processes proposed to administer these rights by The Land Act 1998 have never been real ised because they are contested by the registered land owners. This emerged as the cause of informal land access under the Mailo and Freehold tenure systems. Informality in land access is perpetuated in land subdivision and land development processes as the KCCA only approves subdivisions and developments on land with formal land ownership documents, in Kampala comprised of land under Leasehold tenure hut which constitutes less than 30Fo of overall land holding. To address informality in land access, land subdivision and land development processes under the Maio and Freehold tenure systems, the study identified positive aspects of the current informal structure applied in administering Kibanla rights especially the role played by Local Councils in registering, demarcating and adjudicating Kibanja rights which could form the basis on which the KCCA could build on (through formulation of subdivision and development regulations responsive to Kibanja rights and incremental implementation of planning standards on land under Kabanja occupancy) to achieve planned urban developments in spite of persisting conflicting tenure relations. These proposals made in view of the considerable time and financial resources it would take to resolve the disagreements over occupant registered owner rights as currently constituted and in light of the rising demand for land in Kampala caused by high population growth. Keywords: land tenure; land access; land subdivision; land development.
A research proposal presented to the School of Law in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Award of Diploma in Law of Kampala International University.
Land Tenure System, Analysis, Uganda