Uganda: Lands Officials Given a Month to Process Pending Land Titles

Government has given the Lands Zonal Office at Bukalasa in Luweero District a one month ultimatum to issue out all pending land titles to the rightful owners as government investigates alleged corruption at the office.

Lands Minister Beti Olive Kamya also directed that the alleged duplicated land titles be recalled and land that was fraudulently created be returned to the rightful owners.

Ms Kamya made the remarks during a public land complaints hearing organised by the Ministry of Lands offices at the Lands Zonal office in Bukalasa, Luweero District last Wednesday.

"The government's intention of establishing zonal offices and recruiting more staff was to ensure that our people access services quickly," Ms Kamya said.

Ms Kamya said the government is currently evaluating services of at least 23 Lands Zonal offices established with the purpose of ensuring that land conflicts are resolved.

"The petitions and conflicts from the lands offices located in Wakiso and Luweero districts are overwhelming. These are now the most problematic land offices. We are trying to establish the source of the problems," Ms Kamya said.

Earlier, Ms Kamya heard from leaders and residents from the districts of Luweero, Nakaseke, and Nakasongola allegations of extortion, issuance of more than one title for the same land and delay in releasing land titles to the rightful owners at the Bukalasa Zonal offices.

Ms Goreti Mukagatare, the Nakaseke District councillor, said: "We have failed to understand why different land titles are processed on the same land that has continued to breed land conflicts in many parts of Luweero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola. We also demand that the rates charged for land services remain uniform to avoid cases of extortion at the lands offices."

One such case of land conflicts is the land on Block 437, Plots 7, 10 case where the land title originally registered under Yokana Katura now has duplicate titles, including one in the names of Richard Butangi.

According to Mr Sulait Matovu, a resident on the land, Mr Butagi lodged a caveat on this particular piece of land claiming that he had bought it.

"After intervention from the Nakaseke Resident District Commissioner, the man with a duplicate title told us that we are supposed to pay for the land because he had spent money processing the title,"Mr Matovu said.

Mr Matovu, however, said when Mr Butagi realised that he had been deceived, has refused to have the caveat lifted and demands that the residents pay him the money that he used to buy the land.

Another case is that of Ms Teopista Nansubuga, 74, a resident of Kiwoko Town Council, who said her 10 acre piece of land had three acres allegedly carved out and new land titles issued through the Bukalasa Land Office without her knowledge.

"The original title that we have is under the name of Bulasiyo Kiwanuka, my late husband. But we discovered that sub-titles had been processed on the same land without my notice. The land is on Block 405, Plot 35,"Ms Nansubuga said.

In Nakaseke, the Bindeeba family, which claims to have been a piece of land for more than 35 years was surprised to find out that the land has another title that was processed from Bukalasa Lands office.

The land is located at Kirinda Village in Wakyato Sub-county.

Source: The Monitor

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