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minister sam mayanja biography

Who is Sam Mayanja? Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, age, wife, family, tribe, relationship with Nandawula and Erinesti Birebwe Mayanja, Kiyinda, Mityana District, early life and education of the current State Minister for Lands in Uganda.

Mayanja Sam is a lawyer by profession. He is the current State Minister for Lands in the 2021-2026 Parliament. 

Mayanja is also the Department head for Banking and Finance and a founding partner of a law firm, Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA).

Early Life and Education

Dr Sam Mayanja was born in 1959 in Kiyinda, Mityana District in Central Uganda, a region that is part of Kabaka’s Ssingo County.

His parents, Nandawula (mother) and Erinesti Birebwe Mayanja (father) settled in Mityana after migrating from Koome islands in Lake Victoria Kyaggwe Mukono district. 

Mayanja’s father was the first Ugandan to act as Chief agricultural officer (CAO) for the greater Mubende district. 

Sam is a devoted Pentecostal Christian who often visits Pentecostal churches around Kampala to do his evangelical duties. 

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He started preaching on the streets of the Bwaise ghettos at the age of 13, upholding the fundamental Christian principles of his parents who were pioneer members of the Pentecostal Church in Mityana. 

Erinesti later donated land on which Full Gospel Church was built to serve the Mubende district.

Sam’s great-grandfather and patriarch, Apollo Kivebulaya, had been particularly successful at evangelizing neighbourhoods through street preaching in Buganda in the 1880s after he had changed from Islam to Christianity in protest at the brutality of Muslim leaders.

Mayanja started his educational journey at Mityana Primary School. Before enrolling in Makerere Law School, Sam completed his O-level and A-level studies at Lubiri SS and Kings College Budo, respectively.

After earning his LLB degree, Dr Mayanja enrolled in Law Development Centre (LDC) for a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

Following LDC, Dr Mayanja studied for an LLM (Master of Laws), which he finished making him the pioneer LLM student of Makerere University.

Career and Professional Work Experience

Mayanja has been a practising attorney for close to 45 years and is regarded as a prominent expert on land law as well as the banking and financial services industries in Uganda. 

He has distinguished himself through time in a variety of legal fields. His primary work areas are litigation, real estate, agribusiness, and banking and finance.

From 1977 to 1981, he was a Lecturer in Law at the Law Development Centre where he obtained his Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

From 1989 to 1999, he took on the position of bank secretary at the Uganda Development Bank.

He became a Partner of Sam Mayanja & Co. Advocates (his own law firm) from 1999 to 2001 before being recruited as a senior Partner of (Kampala Associated Advocates) KAA in 2001. 

Mayanja served as a legal adviser for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa on the Transcontinental Highway from Lagos to Mombasa.

He worked to establish the legal foundation for the Northern Corridor Transport and Transit Organization after being retained by the World Bank as a legal consultant.

He also worked as Steven Kavuma’s personal legal assistant while he was the deputy finance minister at the time, and he made significant contributions to the administration of the estates of deceased Asians prior to the creation of the Custodian Board. 

In court cases involving banking and finance, constitutional petitions, property law, and insolvency laws, he has defended numerous clients. In three petitions for presidential elections, he spoke on behalf of the President of Uganda.

Dr Mayanja has also previously lectured at Uganda Christian University in Mukono and is currently a senior lecturer at Nkumba University. 

Following the 2021 Cabinet minister appointments, Dr Mayanja was appointed as the State Minister for Lands serving under Judith Nabakooba. This was despite his lack of a political background. 

Achievements and Awards

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Mayanja Sam is a professional member of the Uganda Law Society and the East African Law Society. He also holds membership in the Commonwealth Association for Corporate Governance as well as the Uganda Institute of Corporate Governance in whose Sustainable Wealth magazine he regularly releases scholarly articles.

He is a reputable draftsperson and writer who worked on the current Financial Institutions Act, the Condominium Properties Act, the Expropriated Properties Act, and the East African Development Bank Act, among other pieces of legislation. 

He also represented the Uganda Bankers Association in the creation of the current code of conduct for Ugandan banks. Mayanja is a well-known author who has contributed to many legal journals.


Through his offensive journalistic opinions, he has criticized the Buganda Kingdom on numerous occasions over their mailo land tenure system. He has consistently insisted that the tenure is discriminatory and that the government should abolish it.

Since Mayanja has long been a vocal opponent of Buganda’s government, some social and political analysts believe that President Museveni’s decision to appoint him to the cabinet was intended to curtail mailo land, a tenure system that he recently called “evil” and one of the factors contributing to evictions in the nation.

Editor’s Note: Please contact [email protected] if you find any of the content to be inaccurate or outdated.