Muhamed Lunyago is a Third-year Graduate Student at Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda. He is a Ugandan pursuing an Interdisciplinary PhD is social Studies. He majors in Political Economy and minors in Political Studies. His research interests include; the land and agrarian questions, state- society relations, customary power/authority and colonialism and decolonization. He holds a Bachelor of Development Studies Degree of Makerere University (2018). Before joining MISR, he was working with Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda in the advocacy and research department.
“Kyapa Mungalo” and the Land Question in Buganda: A Preliminary Critique of the Neoliberal Reforms on Customary Tenure.
The people of Buganda, the central region of Uganda, face a double system of formalization i.e. state-led through the Uganda Land Board (ULB) and another by Buganda Kingdom through Buganda Land Board (BLB). Since 2012, Buganda has been conducting a campaign dubbed “Kyapa Mungalo” which means “Land title in your hands” to encourage tenants on customary land to get lease titles offered by the kingdom. Much as the campaign started earlier in 2012, the process of registration was rolled out in 2016 and people started registering their land with BLB. Despite Buganda providing a rare case of land titling, there has been no substantial discussion and critique of titling done by the customary authority since recent research has focused on state-centered titling. This paper will argue that any substantial discussion of neoliberal land reform needs to take seriously the institutions and structures that enforce the reforms. I also argue that the design and implementation of neoliberal land reforms especiall y titling has limited if any potential to promote development, gender equality and improve the status of gendered households. By not questioning the institutions especially the customary institution of Buganda and Mengo, we risk a wrong impression and interpretation of the reforms and the intensions for which they are established. Through preliminary critique of Kyapa Mungalo, the paper doesn’t only question the agency of Buganda kingdom in neoliberal reforms of customary tenure but also the structure within which it operates, and so the relationship between the state and Buganda kingdom.
Affiliation: Makerere University, Uganda