Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Monday, 24 November 2014

Thomas Rogers Muyunga Mukasa on Lake Lords, Lake Ladies, Air space Lords and Air space ladies in Africa: Case of Uganda

Old and New Tenure Systems in Africa:
Sub Saharan or the whole Africa before the trade with, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians did know land was a symbol of status beyond demarcation and territories. It was negotiated, understood and bargained for using four points:
a. Ownership, location and ancestry e.g. Egyptians of the Lower Nile or Upper Nile.
b. Estate making and a factor of production e.g. basis of establishing home, address and forms of sustenance.
c. Component of holistic cognition e.g. among Baganda "Omutaka we Kyaggwe."
d. The firm ground on which water or other elements are held firm. It was a point of referral for claim of ownership e.g.the water next one's land subsequently belongs to the owner of that land. 

The shorelines and hinterlands of Africa gradually saw so much change as far demarcation of air space, marine and land went during the subsequent interactions with Greeks, Romans, French, British, Danes, Germany, Italy, Russia, USA, Portugal, Belgium and Spain: Africa has special territories belonging to these countries; after 1884 much of Africa was partitioned; the cold war brought with it the non-aligned movement and much of Africa seemed like a political invertebrate with ability to swing at west- east will.

Water body related disputes and misunderstanding in Africa:
-Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi are fighting over a name for Lake Malawi or Lake Nyasa. Malawi claims the name should be Lake Malawi. Tanzania and Mozambique each want the name Lake Nyasa or Lago Niassa respectively.
-Uganda and Kenya had a near clash over Mgingo Islands.
-Uganda and DRC have contested the Albertine boarders.
-Nigeria and Cameroon had a dispute over Bakassi Peninsula. A boundary demarcation is the last step in the U.N. -backed process to end border tension between Cameroon and Nigeria. Much of it centered on the ownership of the oil- and fish-rich Bakassi peninsula that juts into the Gulf of Guinea. The situation escalated into military confrontation in 1993, when Nigerian troops invaded and occupied it.

Local Uganda lake related legislation:
Land tenure is understood by Ugandans today after it was introduced by the Colonialists as : 'Mailo or Communal' Land Tenure system.
Ugandans should understand or at least give much scrutiny to a form of lake tenureship that seeks to manage lake Victoria today. Government of Uganda has just completed plans to lease sections of Lake Victoria to boost fish farming. The Gov't of Uganda is set to lease parts of Lake Victoria to private developers interested in specialised fish farming. Fisheries state minister Ruth Nankabirwa said the move was aimed at boosting the country’s Gross Domestic Product and to encourage the development of cage fish farming and beaches, among others.
What will happen to the land at the bottom of the lake though? Does the lake lord or lake lady own the land below the lake and lies below the land that is below the lake?
What will happen to the air space above the lake? Who owns that?

Fears, Hopes and last words:

1. It is hoped that leases will be timed and not signed in perpetuity.
2. The land lords or land ladies or in this case lake lords or lake ladies should be trained to manage the lake as co-owners with other Ugandans.
3. Issues of trespass should be cleared through education and less of heavy handedness.
4. Marine industry and construction should be standard so that we do not have cases of concrete slabs breaking and ending up filling the lake with otherwise non eco -friendly substances.
5. It is hoped over 100, 000 people will be engaged in a form of employment once this takes off.

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