La tenure foncière contemporaine en Ouganda est, pour l'essentiel, le produit de quatre facteurs: les pratiques de la tenure coutumière, le système de tenure mailo introduite sous le régime colonial britannique, le Land Reform Decree (LRD) (décret de réforme foncière) institué par le Gouvernement Idi Amin en 1975, et le bouleversement de l'ordre public sous le régime Idi Amin et pendant la période qui a suivi sa chute. L'impact du LRD et la désobéissance civile ont mené à la dégradation des ressources sur les propriétés communes, essentiellement dans les zones forestières et les pacages. Les politiques actuelles en Ouganda favorisent la privatisation des droits de propriété, y compris la sédentarisation permanente des groupes pastoraux. Il faut consulter et engager les communautés locales et les groupes d'usagers, en particulier les femmes et les pasteurs, dans la formulation des politiques afin de ne pas saper davantage les institutions qui protègent les ressources naturelles.


El régimen de tenencia de tierras en Uganda es el resultado de cuatro factores: las prácticas de tenencia consuetudinaria; el sistema de tenencia mailo introducido durante el perído colonial británico; la aplicación del decreto de reforma agraria por el gobierno de Idi Amin en 1975, y los efectos de la alteración del orden público que se registraron durante el régimen de Idi Amin y después de su caída. El impacto del decreto de reforma agraria y la desobediencia civil llevaron a la degradación de los recursos en las propiedades y tierras comunales, en particular en las zonas forestales y los pastizales. Las políticas actuales en Uganda favorecen la privatización de la propiedad y la sedentarización permanente de los grupos pastorales. Es necesario consultar e involucrar a las comunidades locales y los grupos de usuarios, en particular las mujeres y los pastores, para formular políticas y no deteriorar ulteriormente las instituciones que protegen los recursos naturales.

Private and communal property rights in rangeland and forests in Uganda

W. Kisamba-Mugerwa
Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

The present land tenure situation in Uganda is essentially the result of four factors: customary tenure practices, the mailo tenure system introduced under the British colonial administration, the Land Reform Decree passed by Idi Amin's government in 1975, and the disrupting social order under the Amin regime and during the period following its downfall. The impacts of the Land Reform Decree and civil disobedience have led to the degradation of common property resources, particularly forest areas and pastures. Current policies in Uganda favour the privatization of property rights, including the permanent sedentarization of pastoral groups.
To avoid any further weakening of the institutions that protect the natural resource bases, local communities and user groups, especially women and pastoralists, must be consulted and engaged in the formulation of policies.

This article reviews Uganda's natural resource base and provides a comparative policy analysis of natural resource tenure systems with particular reference to private and common property regimes in Uganda. Based on rapid rural appraisal carried out in seven districts of Uganda - Kotido, Moroto, Mukono, Mpigi, Mbarara, Rukungiri and Kabarole - the article draws examples from the available literature on this subject.


Uganda has a diversity of natural resources distributed over about 167 000 km2 of arable land. It is an agricultural country, with 89 percent of the population living in rural areas and about 80 percent of the economically active population employed in agriculture. At least 60 percent of the GDP and 80 percent of the annual total national export earnings are consistently contributed by agriculture. Some 93 percent of the food supply for home consumption is derived from the agricultural sector (World Bank, 1989).
The chain of events since the 1970s has weakened the foundation of the state and undermined Uganda's socio-economic fabric. This is evidenced by multiple economic disequilibria, institutional decay, the near collapse of the industrial sector and the acute rural-urban differentials in opportunities, amenities and income distribution. During this period Uganda experienced destruction of its natural resources by encroachment, poaching and unregulated exploitation of forest resources. The situation was exacerbated by high population growth which rose to 3.1 percent before settling to the current rate of 2.5 percent. The rapidly growing population needed increasing amounts of agricultural land and other natural resources.
During both the colonial and post-colonial periods, land tenure policies and state development projects weakened the traditional pattern of rangeland management. Land scarcity drove farmers to employ shorter fallow rotations, and land reform policies, especially the Land Reform Decree of 1975, created a sense of land tenure insecurity among the rural poor. All these factors impoverished the populace in rural areas while accelerating environmental degradation.
In Uganda, land resources are generally owned by members of a lineage and, to a great extent, by the clan. This is still common in Uganda even where individualization has taken place. A parcel of land could be referred to as belonging to a particular clan, and there is a tendency for clans to be location-specific about the use of natural resources.
Political instability has been common over the past two decades at the national level but has also emerged at the community level where there is conflict over access to resources. This is common on state ranches as well as government forest reserves and national parks. It has also been recorded in cases of owners evicting tenants from privately held land while, in pastoral areas, it has been associated with cattle raiding. With the exception of cattle raiding among Karimojong ethnic groups, one would expect political stability under common property tenure regimes if the traditional pattern of natural resource management is not disrupted.
Arguably, nowhere has the crisis of sustainable resource access been more manifest than in the countryside. The rural crisis is a complex function of political instability, environmental degradation, haphazard urban migration and distorted resource tenure systems. These structural problems are reinforced by policy deficiencies. The question of resource tenure involves aspects of economic opportunity, the environment, social cohesion, justice, human welfare and development. The genesis of the configuration of these factors is the country's history.

Historical perspective and evolution of resource tenure systems
Pre-colonial Uganda had a variety of land tenure regimes. Customary tenure in the pre-colonial period varied from one ethnic group to another. In Buganda (the central part of Uganda, which eventually became the centre of land tenure innovations), there were four categories of traditional rights to land. Those rights included clan rights over land (Obutaka); rights of the Kabaka and/or the chiefs (Obutongole); individual hereditary rights (Obwesengeze); and the peasant's rights of occupation, which is an ordinary person's right of undisturbed possession of a parcel of land. Access to land was primarily through inheritance and settlement on any unclaimed land with the approval of the head and a member of the group in the area. The Buganda Agreement of 1900 laid the basis for relations between the British Protectorate and Buganda governments in the first part of the twentieth century. Although the colonial government in Uganda was built on the official philosophy of "indirect rule", its policies towards the indigenous tenure system were far from indirect. Mailo land tenure - a form of private freehold ownership, but with restrictions on land alienation - was introduced in Buganda in 1900. That was followed by the introduction of native freehold tenure in Toro in 1900 and Ankole in 1901 1. The Crown Lands Ordinance of 1903 gave the British colonial authorities power to alienate land in freehold. Although very few freeholds were introduced under the Crown Lands Ordinance, together with leaseholds introduced on crown land, they implicitly sought a radical transformation of the customary tenure system (Mugerwa, 1973; Richards, 1973; West, 1964; 1972). A large proportion of mailo land, while held as private property, was occupied by tenants.
To streamline the respective rights and duties of both the mailo owner and the tenant or kibanja holder, the Buganda Kingdom enacted the Busuulu and Envujjo Laws in 19272. In accordance with these laws, and the subsequent Ankole Landlord and Tenant Law (1937), the landlord-tenant relationship was regulated to minimize the obligation to the landlords and strengthen the peasants who were the productive base of the agricultural sector as well as protecting them from eviction. Over time, a kibanja tenancy came to amount to a de facto form of freehold tenure, except that the occupant did not own full rights to the land. The Busuulu and Envujjo Laws guaranteed the security of tenure of the kibanja tenant. After independence in 1962, the protection of customary land rights was provided for in the Public Land Act of 1969. A person could legally occupy, in customary tenure, any rural land not alienated in leasehold or freehold. The controlling authority could only grant a freehold/leasehold on any land occupied by customary tenure with the consent of the customary holder.
The Land Reform Decree (LRD) of 1975, enacted by the Idi Amin government, abolished on paper all private rights to land and converted mailo holdings to 99-year leases. In the case of charitable and religious institutions, freehold land was converted to 199-year leases. The Land Reform Decree repealed the Busuulu and Envujjo Laws of 1927 which had provided statutory protection for tenants on former mailo and freehold land. Previously protected tenants were subsequently subject to eviction with six months' notice. The 1975 LRD has never been systematically implemented. Legally, all land in Uganda is vested in the state but, in fact, practices and rights associated with mailo, leasehold, freehold and customary tenure continue to prevail. The vesting of land is now an issue under consideration by the Constituent Assembly debating a new constitution.


Natural resources
Uganda is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. For the purposes of this paper, the discussion will be restricted to forested lands, grazing land and water resources and wetlands.

Forest resources. Uganda's forestry reserves consist of approximately 1.49 million ha. The figure has declined as some of the forests are converted into national parks. Until the early 1970s, forest estates were successfully managed with a consistent forestry policy, which balanced economic utilization with conservation of wildlife, maintenance of biological biodiversity and other values. The unprotected forest cover in Uganda is estimated to be 2 million ha. It is estimated that approximately 2 percent (about 110 km2) of Uganda's highland tropical forests are lost annually (Hamilton, 1984). There is no policy relating to the control of forests on private land whether under freehold, leasehold or customary tenure. Much of the contemporary deforestation is taking place on private land and loss of forest cover has been caused by unregulated commercial exploitation and widespread encroachment of human settlement and agriculture into the forest reserve areas (Aluma, 1989).

Pasture land. Pastoral areas in Uganda stretch from the southern Uganda border with the United Republic of Tanzania through the northern-central area of the country and encompass virtually all of northeastern Uganda. These areas are generally semi-arid or arid and are inhabited by livestock keepers, particularly the traditional pastoralists, the Bahima in the southwest and the Karimojong in the northeast. Although various economic activities are found in the pasture lands, including wildlife management, the main activity is pastoralism. The livestock industry plays a significant role in socio-economic development, contributing about 25 percent of the country's GDP.

Water resources and wetlands. Uganda is well endowed with freshwater resources, including large lakes, rivers and wetlands in the catchment regions which form the beginning of the River Nile basin. Wetlands cover about 10 percent of Uganda's total land area as swamps, swamp forests, mountain bog and other areas with impeded drainage. They are generally under customary tenure where they are managed under common property regimes for fishing or papyrus or special species of grass. It is only recently, under the Environmental Action Plan, that attempts have been undertaken to establish the extent and distribution of major wetlands under various resource tenure systems.

Policies towards land and natural resource management
Major policy bodies. Policies of natural resource management are scattered in various government departments and ministries. In 1986, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government set up a Department of Environment Protection, which eventually evolved into a full ministry. This was created with the objective of coordinating and regulating national efforts towards the rational management of the life-supporting natural resources for sustainable development and the preservation of the environment.
The Ministry of Agriculture is the government agency concerned with soil management and, hence, the category of arable land. However, land tenure policy is the prerogative of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. New land laws in Uganda are being drafted by this ministry in coordination with the Agricultural Secretariat of the Central Bank, the major agricultural policy body. The responsibility for water resources is in different sectors and fragmented between several agencies, but particularly the Water Development Department. In 1988, a National Wetland Conservation and Management Programme was started. By 1991, policy proposals were made including draft legislation and management guidelines for sustained wetlands management. These are being processed to implement a wetland management policy.

Government policy towards land and natural resources. Natural resources were traditionally managed under common property regimes by groups such as clan or lineages that were variable in terms of size and internal cohesion. Government policy in the colonial and post-colonial era has tended to encourage private management of resources rather than common property regimes. The Royal East Africa Commission, in its report issued in 1958 on boosting the economic development of the protectorate, recommended that official land tenure policy should seek to privatize all land and natural resource ownership, not just property already held under mailo or freehold tenure. The colonial government policies focused on cash cropping for purposes of taxation to make colonial administration in Uganda self-financing and to supply raw materials to growing industries in the United Kingdom. This was supported by the policy of individualization of land. In recent decades, however, natural resources managed as common property have become open-access resources and the tenure situation has been blamed for environmental degradation. Planners and policy-makers have tended to regard common property resource management as a non-economic activity. This has particularly affected forests and grazing lands.

Forests. All the gazetted forest reserves are governed under the current policy as gazetted in 1987 and expanded in 1989. The Forest Department undertakes protection and conservation through an extension service, with a network reaching almost every subcounty in the country. Since 1989, it has also been the official policy to limit to 20 percent of the total area of forest reserves for non-extractive activities, with 30 percent of the area designated as buffer zones with some controlled extraction and 50 percent of the area for normal concessions for timber on a rational basis.
The forest reserves in Uganda which are now managed as state property were also traditionally common property resources. In cases where forests were not put under the state, they are now found on private mailo or freehold land, but with a few remnant stretches of forests under customary tenure on public land.

Rangelands. After the tsetse fly was eradicated, commercial ranching was envisaged to create a stimulus for the cultural and social transformation of the semi-nomadic Bahima cattle keepers of Ankole. The ranches include those under the Ankole Ranching Scheme, developed between 1962 and 1968. In a related development, the creation of National Parks and Game Reserves has taken up pastoral grazing areas and, recently, national parks have been created covering forests. In National Parks and Game Reserves, all human activities, other than those connected with the management or utilization of wildlife resources, are strictly prohibited. The areas taken up by National Parks or private and parastatal ranching schemes had traditionally been managed as common property resources by different ethnic groups, and used as pastoral grazing areas. The loss of these areas has had severe repercussions for the sustainability of pastoral livelihoods on the remaining common rangelands.
Colonial and post-independence governments and various development agencies, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), have invested substantial monetary resources in improving rangeland management without commensurate success in attaining sustainable development. Moreover, development interventions have even disrupted the traditional patterns of rangeland management. Customary rights of pastoralists on their traditional grazing lands are no longer recognized by the law. This is one of the profound weaknesses of the 1975 Land Reform Decree in respect of pastoral areas.
Uganda has never had a definite policy towards common property resources. Instead, the creation of commercial ranches in communal pastoral grazing areas, the creation of forest reserves and national parks and the introduction of private property and leasehold tenure systems have all resulted in mounting pressure on natural resources managed under common property regimes. This has disrupted the traditional pattern of land use under communal tenure, leading to environmental degradation, the introduction of crop cultivation on marginal agricultural lands, poverty, vulnerability and, in some cases, famine. The trend of land tenure policies reveals increasing concentration of resources under state ownership in terms of forests, water and wildlife. It also reveals increasing individualization and privatization of parcels of land and private farms, especially in grazing areas, to the detriment of the indigenous people in those areas.


In evaluating the impact of various institutions on rural development in Uganda, several points are worth considering: first, the protection of the environment is increasingly perceived as an essential part of development; second, equitable income growth is an essential element of rural development; and third, access to natural resources by the rural poor should be given priority. These three points are considered in the following evaluation of communal and private resource tenure systems.

Employment creation
Under common property regimes, each individual or household is the proprietor, which in itself ensures full employment. Common property regimes are essentially indigenous socio-economic structures in areas of low productivity and low population density. As population grows, the total demand on the resource ultimately exceeds its rate of regeneration. However, the privatization of land resources may increase unemployment through displacement in the short term. The areas which had historically been communal grazing areas were converted to state and private property with the advent of the commercial ranching schemes. Owing to the decline in remaining common pasture land, the indigenous people came to be seen as squatters on their land. Under such circumstances, the development of common property resources would offer more employment opportunities than state or private property regimes. If resources under common property regimes in Uganda were not threatened by the external factors and government policies noted above, they would be capable of ensuring full employment for the human population living thereon, albeit at a subsistence level of income. However, population growth is increasingly undermining common property resource management. Worse still, the legal status of common property, especially grazing land, is unclear under the country's Land Reform Decree of 1975. For common property resources to survive and create employment for the growing population, the institutional arrangements for their management must adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. This is a major reason for the increasing scarcity of common property regimes in crop cultivation.

Income-generating activities
Income-generating activities under private property regimes are determined by control over resources. Under common property, the question is not so much a matter of ownership of the resources as it is access. Since it is easier to have access to natural resources under common property regimes than private property regimes, income-generating activities dependent on resource extraction would be more easily undertaken under common property than private property regimes. The main weakness of common property resources is the tendency to degenerate into open access resources under population pressure. Under such circumstances, the natural resources are easily destroyed through excessive exploitation.

Agricultural productivity
Both production and productive investments are influenced by the security of tenure. In general, private property is presumed to offer the security of tenure required to capture the long-term gains from productive investment. Although, under common property regimes, members of various social groupings are assured of access to land and natural resources, such access is associated primarily with subsistence production. To the external observer, the management practices appear primitive, and the level of production is quite low compared with a private regime.
Distinct results were offered by a case study of Nyabushozi County in Mbarara District, the purpose of which was to assess the performance of household tenure in terms of production by cattle keepers with the same type of indigenous cattle. Households relying solely on communal grazing land had no milk for sale, while those with access to private grazing land sold at least five litres every other day; the main cause of the difference being the technology and level of management on privately held land, as depicted in the Table.

Management under different tenure regimes in Nyabushozi

Recommended input or management practice

Tenure category









Perimeter fencing










Valley dams










Bush clearing





Improved seeds





Mineral lick





Veterinary drugs





Individualization of tenure on arable and pastoral land in Uganda has displaced the rural poor. This is reflected in the volume, nature and level at which land disputes are solved, and such disputes are increasingly violent (Kigula, 1992). Although the eviction is technically legal as outlined under the Land Reform Decree, the manner and the frequency of such evictions are alarming.
Even the argument that increased production is attained under private property regimes is debatable. Studies have established that households on customary tenure had as good a yield of the crops per unit of land as those under private large commercial undertakings. Overgrazed parcels of land were observed on commercial ranches in the cattle corridor and no substantial improvement of the pasture on commercial ranches could be detected (Kisamba-Mugerwa, 1991).

Social cohesion and group solidarity
As natural resources under common property regimes become private or state property, as is the case among the Bahima in western Uganda and the Karimojong in northeastern Uganda, the traditional socio-economic pattern is upset. The collection of fuelwood and building materials and hunting are curtailed, since no human activity is allowed in the national parks. The level of disputes between the Lake Mburo National Park Authority and the residents in its neighbourhood have reached national dimensions while disputes between commercial ranchers and the indigenous pastoralists in Nyabushozi have developed into armed conflict.
The resident communities surrounding various forest reserves, game reserves and national parks, such as Mabira Forest Reserve, Bwindi National Park and the South Kibale Forest Corridor Reserve, have been the scene of serious conflicts between the reserve managers and the indigenous population. Among pastoralists, risk-reduction mechanisms, such as the dispersal of herds over a broad area, have been lost owing to tenure change and the privatization or nationalization of common property grazing lands.
Common property resources can only be sustainably managed as such when access is limited and users respect the legitimacy of certain principles. The common property regime is conducted like a private property regime in terms of exclusion of non-members. Among themselves, however, members are required to undertake exhaustive consultation, unlike under a private property regime. Since everyone under a common property regime has structured rights and duties to perform, interdependence among the members of the community is assured and social cohesion and group solidarity enhanced. When social cohesion breaks down, so too does common property.

Social justice
Common property regimes are associated with a basic social code that guarantees community members access to resources and imposes on them some guidelines for how resources should be utilized. Common property resources are therefore linked to a shared sense of social justice. However, under current precarious circumstances, there are two major problems with this shared code: privatization of resources, and access by women. Social justice breaks down where an individual does not share the needs of the other members of the community. This is true in Uganda where some "progressive" farmers may wish to make an enclosure of common grazing land to improve on the pasture and animal husbandry practices.
Traditionally, the access of women to land was more possible under common property, where they are assured of access not only to land for cultivation but also to forests or woodlots for fuelwood, medicinal plants and other needed resources. Under common property, the issue is not only who controls the natural resources, but how access to the facility is made possible. Among cattle-keeping groups in Uganda, where women have little control over the animals, access to milk is ensured. Women are responsible for milking and even churning it, which adds value to the milk for eventual marketing. Given their role in a family, women rely most on common property resources either for home consumption or for generating income for the family. Access to resources under private property regimes is not determined by one's role in a family or community, but by the one who has control over the resources. Whereas resources are collectively managed in a common property system, under a private property regime, access is acquired through one's ability to purchase.

Political stability
Uganda has undergone political turmoil for more than two decades. During times of civil strife, the management of natural resources suffered. In the 1970s and 1980s, reserves were encroached on, as there was little enforcement capability to protect them effectively. Likewise, there was little to prevent the enclosure of common grazing areas and even the dispossession of pastoral groups of their livestock. However, current political stability has enabled the government to undertake strict measures for the protection of natural resources under state control. The current political climate has also facilitated the lodging of claims by those with various grievances against the state. Consequently, in Mbarara District, where the rangeland has been developed into commercial ranches without regard for the indigenous pastoralists, land claims have been lodged. In response, the government appointed a nine-member commission of inquiry to look into the ranches and means of addressing land grievances.

Environmental considerations
Since the article by Hardin about the "tragedy of the commons", common property regimes have been blamed for environmental degradation. However, after 25 years, evidence has emerged to demonstrate that common property resources, if truly managed as such, have built-in mechanisms to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources. Resource degradation under common property regimes will only arise when there is a breakdown in management conduct by the co-owners or when the community is unable to exclude outsiders. In Uganda, overgrazing and its accompanying forms of environmental degradation are found across all types of regimes. In areas outside the state ranches, especially in Mbarara District, there are private ranches where overgrazing is prominent. On state ranches it is even worse. Overgrazing of common pastoral areas appears only where migratory patterns are disrupted. Sedentary crop production on fragile ecosystems in arid areas is becoming common as pastoralists are being impoverished and forced to resort to cropping to supplement their food supply. Under these circumstances, such areas are very prone to soil erosion.


In Uganda, rural development cannot be analysed in isolation from the question of rural social class. Owing to the low level of development and technology, both the poor and the rich use natural resources under common property regimes. Improving their welfare calls for programmes that embrace the community as a whole, with emphasis on the poor and the women.
The management of natural resources is undertaken under different regimes along a continuum; namely, private property, state property, common property and a non-property regime of open access. Among all those, the common property regimes are indigenous to Ugandan societies. Common property regimes have often been misunderstood by state planners and are believed to lack incentives for producers to undertake improvements and investments for sustainable development. There is a deliberate policy in the country more to eliminate communal grazing by resettling pastoralists. It is therefore recommended that planners and policy-makers should attain a reasonable level of understanding of the concepts related to natural resource management.
Examining the land tenure system in Uganda in historical perspective reveals that land policy reforms have been inclined towards enhancing individualization and private land tenure. However, as already shown in the preceding analysis, common property is often the only means of access to natural resources among vulnerable groups - particularly pastoralists, women, the elderly and the poor. There is therefore a need to raise consciousness among donors and rural development planners about the possibility of attaining sustainable development using natural resources under common property regimes.
Natural resources in Uganda that are still being managed under common property regimes are under pressure arising from population growth and state policies aimed at privatization and commercialization. It is therefore envisaged that, unless support is provided in the form of concerted policy measures, it will be increasingly difficult to maintain sustainable resource management under common property regimes.
The Land Reform Decree of 1975 does not protect settled customary tenants but creates insecurity of tenure of poor peasants and, accordingly, does not provide incentives for environmentally sustainable agriculture. Whenever land reforms that weaken customary tenure are undertaken, the sustainable use of common property resources is weakened. Development planning in Uganda continues to be dominated by a top-down approach. There is still little consultation with users of natural resources, especially women. Owing to their customary role in society, women are primarily dependent on common property resources for both domestic consumption and income generation. There is a strong need therefore not only to protect natural resources and include women in consultation regarding the use of such resources, but also to increase alternative income-generating activities for women in rural areas.
In designing rural development projects related to increasing agricultural production, there is a need to identify the actual beneficiaries of the increased production. Projects should therefore either avoid displacing the rural people, or fully compensate them for any displacement. Community participation should be enhanced and started at the level of conceiving, designing and the implementation of any project related to the utilization of natural resources in the area.
Both the poor and the rich use common property resources. However, control by the local communities over the natural resources is becoming increasingly eroded. The level of awareness of environmental degradation is generally assumed to be very low among the rural people, and it is often forgotten that their security of tenure and pattern of management is distorted. It is thus recommended that environmental projects and programmes should focus on increasing security of tenure among the rural people especially in terms of access to the natural resources, ensuring a sense of belonging to those projects through community participation and, above all, benefiting them in terms of their own welfare.
Political stability is no doubt paramount to the well-being of any society. A community approach to rural development would enhance social cohesion and group solidarity. Common property regimes tend to fulfil this objective, enhancing reciprocity among the members of the community. The sustainability of common property resource management will depend on the government's approach to issues regarding the freedom of association, participation in decision-making machinery and equitable distribution of resources and benefits. The government should strengthen the decision- making machinery at the lowest level, where the majority of the rural people live.
The main weakness of common property regimes is the failure to accommodate population growth. Thus, any development programme should take into account population growth control. Success may be enhanced if the design of the programme is simple and clear and builds on traditional institutions and people's values while operating on a local scale on a participatory basis.


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Government of Uganda. 1958. East African Royal Commission 1953-1955. Report on Land Tenure Issues. London, HMSO, CMD.

Hamilton, C. 1984. Deforestation in Uganda. Nairobi, Oxford University Press.

Kigula, J. 1992. Land disputes in Uganda: an overview of the types of land disputes and the dispute settlement fora. Kampala, Uganda, Makerere Institute of Social Research. (mimeo)

Kisamba-Mugerwa, W. 1991. Rangeland tenure and resource management: an overview of pastoralism in Uganda. Kampala, Uganda, Makerere Institute of Social Research. (mimeo)

Mugerwa, E. 1973. The position of the Mailo owners in the peasant society in Buganda: a case study of Muge and Lukaya villages. Department of Political Science, University of Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania. (thesis)

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1 Buganda, Toro and Ankole were all kingdoms in the area that today makes up the nation of Uganda. Separate treaties were signed with each kingdom to regularize colonial rule. A fourth kingdom, Bunyoro, was militarily subdued.

2 Kibanja simply means a plot or parcel of land but, over time, it has become associated with this particular form of tenancy of undisturbed possession of the parcel of land. It could be a mailo tenancy or a customary tenancy.