How does compulsory land acquisition affect rights to ownership of land in Uganda
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For many societies, access and ownership of land plays a key role in the production process. In developing countries like Uganda where rural livelihoods depend almost entirely on farming of agricultural produce derived from the land. The State’s power of compulsory acquisition has been exercised in Uganda since colonial time. The objective has been in pursuit of the socio-economic development for the public welfare and being. The acquisition and management of state lands have left in their trail several unresolved problems and among them are the acquisition of lands far in excess of actual requirements, unpaid compensation in respect of some of the acquisitions, encroachment on acquired lands, lack of intergenerational equity in the utilization of paid compensation, change of use of compulsorily acquired land as against the purpose of the acquisition, optimizing the use and economic returns of state lands and private sector participation in the development of compulsorily acquired land. There is another category of lands occupied by the state without any acquisition, depriving the land owners the opportunity to demand compensation. The result is loss of public confidence in the state machinery for the management of land, leading to tension between the state and land owners, massive deliberate encroachment of state lands, and challenging the state’s legitimacy to claim control over compulsorily acquired lands. Therefore in this thesis, policy proposals are to be developed to deal with the outstanding issues of compulsory acquisition and also make proposals to guide future compulsory acquisitions. The thesis will also explore alternative policy options for dealing with these issues so as to provide a sustainable framework for managing state lands efficiently and to reduce the tension between the state and land owners in Uganda.