By Spy Uganda
The Minister of Lands, Housing & Urban Dev’t Hon Judith Nabakooba has issued a statement on key achievements registered in they year 2022.
Some of the achievements include: launching the land Information system public portal which citizens
are using to receive instant searches (www.ugnlic.go.ug), issuing land titles to citizens from Apac, Agago, Maracha, Terego, Mbarara, Ibanda, Rwampara, Kiruhura, Mbale City, Moroto, Amudat, Kabale and Oyam
Other achievements are; supervising the USMID infrastructure development projects in Soroti city, Mbarara city, Ntungamo, Kamwenge, Fort Portal city, Busia, Mubende, Kasese, Jinja city, Kamuli and Buikwe among others. The Ministry has also handled land disputes in those areas.
”Government held a regional meeting on Land conflicts with Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and International Development Law Organization (IDLO) to strengthen 8 member states land systems and support for transboundary movement of people, goods and resources for Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda,” reads Nabakooba’s statement.
In the same year, President assented to the Physical Planners Registration Act, 2022; and Cabinet approved the National Physical Development Plan. Nabakooba says this plan is the first of it’s kind in Uganda and is going to help create orderly physical development in the country.
Also, the Government through the Ministry of Lands held an important meeting on regional mapping of resources for the development of 21 African countries and agreed on how to help integrate issues of food security, natural resource management and preparing for natural disasters and droughts.
”The Ministry also participated in the African Union meetings in Egypt where Uganda was elected and currently Chairs the African Union specialized technical committee on public service, local government and urban development,” adds the statement.
The Ministry says the benefits to Uganda shall be seen in terms of the capacities developed in the Country to transform urban and human settlement development in Uganda and Africa at large.
Also, in 2021 Government handed over land titles to customary owners. This was the most
exciting because the Ministry listened to the people’s demand for legal documents in order to protect their land ownership rights.
The women specifically demanded to be included on the family land titles as the Land Act stipulates. ”This has been done. Indeed, everywhere the Ministry has handed over titles to women have constituted between 38% and 50% of the beneficiaries.”
”The ‘Stand for Her Land’ Ugandan campaign, which spearheads women’s land rights, has highlighted the benefits of including women on land titles. I hope this collaboration shall continue even in 2023. The NRM Government is therefore applauded for supporting women and other marginalized groups who were only involved in confirming boundaries of their neighbors and signing as witnesses on landforms to now becoming family land owners,” adds Nabakooba.
Nabakooba says in the new year 2023, the Ministry will issue certificates for
landowners in Butaleja District.
”The Ministry also carried out public awareness on land and land-related issues including evictions. These illegal land evictions continue to be the biggest challenge we faced this year,” says Nabakooba adding; ”As part of resolving this issue, the Government issued Certificates of Occupancy to bibanja owners and has made sure that the tenants pay busuulu to the landlords, and the Landlords have equally given consent to encumber the rights of the tenants on their Mailo titles in the Land Registry.
Nabakooba says where certificates of occupancy have been issued evictions have tremendously reduced to zero because any search of the title in the Land Registry indicates that the land has tenants and a record of their bibanja sizes are known and protected by Government. ”The plan is to roll out this
intervention to ensure that bibanja owners too acquire a Government document that protects their land interests.”
In 2022, the Ministry also responded to numerous Land dispute related petitions from Kiryandongo, Kitagwenda, Mityana, Mubende, Kassanda, Kyankwanzi, Nakaseke, Mukono, Mpigi, Lyantonde, Rakai, Kyotera, Gomba, Masaka, Wakiso, Kikuube, Buliisa, Masindi, Hoima, Kasese among others.
Nabakooba has since cautioned Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and District Police Commanders (DPCs) not to implement any eviction order between the 23rd to 6th of January 2023.
This is because many unscrupulous individuals use this holiday period to conduct land evictions well aware that most government offices are closed and cannot intervene to protect lawful occupants.
She further cautions, ”There should be NO evictions of lawful and Bonafide Occupants. Forceful
land-sharing arrangements by Landlords which may lead to threatened evictions of occupants are prohibited, and where a Landlord chooses to sell land to a different person other than the occupants during the festive season should be informed that the rights of the existing tenants are not affected in
any way. The old Landlord must introduce the new Landlord to the occupants so that they know who their new Landlord is for purposes of paying Busuulu and seeking their consent to acquire Certificates of Occupancy.”
The honorable Minister concluded her message by wishing Ugandans merry Christmas and a happy new year.