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The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995

Article 237 provides that all land in Uganda belongs to the citizens of Uganda The same article and the Land Act S.3 provides that land will be held in the following forms of tenure;

  • 1. Customary
  • 2. Freehold
  • 4. Leasehold
  • 5. Mailo

1. Customary tenure;
  • a) Applies to a specific area and a specific description and class of persons
  • b) Applicable to persons acquiring land in that area according to those rules
  • c) Governed by custom and local customary regulation subject to S.27
  • d) Provides for communal ownership and use of land
  • e) Applies local customary regulation and management to individual and household ownership, use, occupation and transactions in land
  • f) Ownership in perpetuity

2. Freehold tenure;
  • a) Derives legality from the constitution and incidents of written law
  • b) Involves the holding of registered land in perpetuity or a period less than perpetuity which may be fixed by a condition
  • c) Gives the owner the right to use and develop the land for a lawful purpose
  • d) Gives the owner the right to enter any transaction in connection with the land
  • e) Disposing of land to any person by will.

3. Mailo tenure;
  • a) Derives its legality from the constitution and its incidents from written law.
  • b) Involves the holding of registered land in perpetuity.
  • c) Permits the separation of ownership of land from ownership of developments on land made by a lawful or bonafide occupant.
  • d) Enables the holder to exercise the rights of a holder of a freehold title subject to the customary and statutory rights of those persons lawful or bonafide in the occupation of the land at the time that the tenure was created and their successors in title.

4. Leasehold tenure;
  • a) Created either by contract or by operation of law
  • b) Landlord/lessor grants exclusive possession to the tenant/lessee
  • c) For a period defined, but the period may not refer to a specific date of commencement and a specific date of ending
  • d) Usually but not necessarily for a rent or capital sum known as premium
  • e) Under which landlord/lessor may subject to terms and condition of the lease and having due regard to interests of other party exercise powers of a freehold owner.

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