Absentee landlords and land utilization in Uganda: the case of Kibaale District, 1894 – 1995
Magezi, James Wilson
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This research focuses on absentee landlords and land utilization in Uganda, taking the case of Kibaale District in present-day Bunyoro Kingdom. It covers the period between 1894-1995. The study covers the economic history of Kibaale District during the colonial and post-independence period up to 1995.The objectives of this study were to identify the origins of absentee landlords, the commoditization of the land resource and its impact on land use between the landlords and the tenants. The study also examines how land policies of the colonial and post-independence governments tackled the issue of absentee landlords. The significance of this study is to add to the existing knowledge about the land tenure system in Kibaale District especially in relation to the politics of land allocation and utilization during both the colonial and post-independence periods. The study employed a number of theories including the theories of the articulation of the modes of production, neo-patrimonialism, conflict and relative-deprivation. The study adopted an historical approach in data collection and interpretation. Both primary and secondary data were collected. The study employed both the qualitative and quantitative methods of research to analyze and interpret the data. Both primary and secondary methods of data collection were used. A variety of informants were interviewed namely civil servants, peasants, teachers, landlords, landowners, politicians, and Kingdom leadership. The Uganda national archive in Entebbe was also a major source of information especially on correspondences of the colonial administrators. The research established that absentee Baganda landlords disrupted land use in Kibaale District during both the colonial and post-independence period. They were the holders of the land titles, and yet they were always absent which created insecure land-tenure among their Banyoro tenants. This research, therefore, recommends that the government should effect a land legislation that will solve the land question in Kibaale District.