By Spy Uganda
Kampala: ActionAid Uganda, an international non-governmental organization whose stated primary aim is to work against poverty and injustice worldwide has opened the war on the cabinet of Uganda for allowing investors mortgage government land, something said to be gearing evil actions of rampant land evictions in the country.
It is worth noting that on September 22, 2020, the government issued a set of conditions that will be followed by investors who seek to mortgage government land to access funding for their projects, something that left a couple of Ugandans aggrieved arguing that Government favors foreign investors at the cost of its own local investors.
Among the conditions, the investor is required to submit an application for investment land to the relevant Government entity with the Memorandum and Articles of Association, a copy of the certificate of registration or certificate of incorporation, the investment license issued by Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and the business plan articulating detailed project idea.
The investor is also required to provide the preliminary architectural layout of the proposed facilities, documentary evidence of financial capacity to fully use the land, the activity schedule highlighting key milestones for the first 18 months duly broken into deliverables for every six months, the written commitment that milestones will be met and where the investor fails, the land is withdrawn.
Cabinet added that once the agency concerned on behalf of foreigners is satisfied with the application, it then writes to the proposed financiers okaying the mortgage application. However, the ActionAid Uganda country director, Arthur Larok challenges the idea. He says cabinet’s resolutions should match with the existing land laws in Uganda.
Larok says that due to cabinet’s approval, investors will now be able to mortgage government land to acquire financial support hence raising serious questions to citizens.
He also calls upon citizens to be cautious and demand transparency so that they don’t end up as victims of illegal land evictions as investors move to lease their land.
What Is The Cabinet’s Resolution?
According to the cabinet, the value of the land allocated to an investor shall be determined and captured as the contribution of Government. The lease agreement signed between the investor and the government will be subject to approved terms and conditions.
The processing of the Leasehold Certificate of Title should not take more than two weeks. No investor shall be allowed to take possession of the land without a signed lease agreement and Leasehold Certificate of Title.
The government shall have powers to allocate any land for which a lease agreement has not been signed even if a lease offer has been accepted by the investor. The land allocation shall be confirmed only and only if the lease offer leads to the signing of the lease agreement.
According to Cabinet, no investor shall be allowed to take possession of the land without a valid lease agreement. Any allocation of land for which a lease agreement has not been signed by the investor within a stipulated period shall revert back to Government and will be available for allocation of other investors. The lease agreement shall be signed within one month following its approval by Government.
Now, it is against that background that some concerned citizens argue that it is so embarrassing that the government does not value its citizens and believes the aim of authorizing investors to mortgage government land will leave many Ugandans evicted.
“All the deals are being spearheaded by some mafias in the cabinet who are famous for evicting Ugandans and now they are trying to use investors who are even foreigners to evict people from the land of which these foreigners milk our nation and take our resources to their mother countries hence leaving us poor, ” a citizen who preferred anonymity said.