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Research on Land Capping in Uganda

 

The Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) of the School of Law - Makerere University, has been undertaking a study on the “Perspectives on Land Capping in Uganda” (PLCU) since December 2019. The PLCU study was fully funded under the Government of Uganda Research and Innovation Fund (RIF) extended to Makerere University. It sought to elucidate on the challenges of unlimited private land ownership to development programming in Uganda as one way to contribute towards a lasting solution to the escalating land conflicts which have for long threatened the country’s peace, stability and development. Particularly, the study aims to interrogate whether it is possible to enforce a private land holding ceiling/cap in Uganda and whether this would provide a panacea to the insatiable appetite for land accumulation especially by private individuals who under utilise or fail to use this land.

 

Notably, this is an untouched area within the existing scholarship, perhaps because of its sensitivity considering that some of the biggest land holders of prime development land in the country are
cultural institutions or their leaders, faith organisations and the political class. As such, the PLCU study marks the first academic interrogation of its kind. The study involved a number of interventions namely: review of the existing literature on relevant aspects of the study; fieldwork in two select regions of the country where different stakeholders contributed views regarding the prospects of adopting land capping as a development strategy; a 5 day benchmarking trip to Rwanda with a view to understanding the nature and impact of their land reforms and to identify the key lessons that could be considered in the Ugandan context; as well as post field meetings in the field work destinations and with officials from key stakeholders in Uganda including the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MoLHUD), CSOs working on land and food governance related issues, members of the academia, legal practitioners, historians, media actors among others.

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