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Fort Portal city struggling to operate without land board

Fort Portal

Fort Portal, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Fort Portal city is unable to process land titles and resolve other land-related matters due to the absence of a land board.

Since gaining city status two years ago, Fort Portal has been operating without a land board. The lack of a land board has led to a backlog of requests for land titles and other tasks that are supposed to be performed by the board.

According to the 1998 Uganda Land Act, the functions of the land boards include holding and allocating land in the district, which is not owned by any person or authority.

The others are to facilitate the registration and transfer of interests in land, take over the role and exercise the powers of the lessor in the case of a lease granted by a former controlling authority, and cause surveys, plans, maps, drawings and estimates to be made by or through its officers or agents.

Kenneth Kaliba, the central division councilor representing Kasusu ward says the absence of a land board has affected the registration and processing of land titles. He adds that unscrupulous people are also fraudulently acquiring land titles.

In December, the former city clerk Theopilus Tibihika directed the registrar of titles at the Ministry of Lands Zonal office in Kitumba Fort Portal, to cancel two land titles on Kaija road in the names of Stephen Robert Isabaliija and another piece of land in the names of Edward Wamara Kanago.

According to Tibihika, the two land titles were fraudulently acquired.

Bob Muhumule, the councilor representing Kagote ward says several plots of land in the Central Division have been illegally acquired by unknown people.

John Mugisa, a resident of Rwengoma in the Central division said that he applied for a land title but has never got any response.

He notes that it is so frustrating and time-consuming that a person can take so long to get a land title even after getting through a lengthy process simply because the city lacks a land board.

Moses Otimong, the city clerk says that all the illegal land titles issued to various individuals on council land will be canceled when the city board is instituted.

Otimong says that the names of the members have been submitted to Lands Minister for approval.

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