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Lands Minister decries immense complaints from Wakiso, Luwero zonal offices

Minister Beti Kamya speaking to residents and local leaders at Luwero ministerial zonal office located at Bukalasa village in Wobulenzi town. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The ministerial zonal offices in Wakiso and Luwero district are the most problematic land offices in Uganda according to Lands Minister Beti Olive Kamya.

Since 2015, the Ministry of Lands has upgraded 23 land offices into ministerial zonal offices, a move aimed at taking services closer to the people. With support from the World Bank, the Ministry hosts the computerized Land Information System (LIS) within the zonal offices, as one of the measures to ease the titling of property, registration of land and improve land administration.

But according to Beti Kamya, the Ministry has received more complaints about the services from Luwero and Wakiso. The complaints include lifting caveats without the knowledge of affected parties, delayed issuance of land titles, issuing multiple titles on the same land and corruption among others.

During her visit to the Luwero ministerial zonal office located at Bukalasa village in Wobulenzi town council, residents and area leaders told the minister that they were disappointed at the conduct and performance of the land officers and called for swift action to restore trust in the office. Diriisa Mawejje, a resident of Matugga town shared an experience where he is still waiting for the transfer of a land title, a year and a half since his application was submitted.

Disan Bukenya, a resident of Ntuti village in Nakasongola said that he applied for 18 acres of land from Nakasongola public land in 2013, but he is yet to get a land title from the Luwero zonal office and that while he is waiting, about eight acres of the same land have been grabbed. Several other residents attested that they are paying bribes for the services.

Goretti Mukagatale, the Nakaseke District Secretary for Health and Education told the Minister that the issuing of multiple land titles by the Luwero Ministerial Zonal Office had contributed to land conflicts in her area. She cited a case at Gulugulu village in Nakaseke district where a family that had lived on the land for 32-years with a land title was shocked after another person emerged with a land title and attempted to evict them which ended in violence.

Erastus Kibirango, the LC V chairman-elect for Luwero district said the NRM government became unpopular in the area because of failing to address land conflicts and asked the minister to take action on issues raised against the zonal officers.

But Ivan Serwambala, the staff surveyor at Luwero ministerial zonal office said that delays in the issuance of land titles are partly because some titles are not yet computerized under the Land Information System. Serwambala explains that when the Ministry took over the offices two years ago, about 77,537 out of 90,000 land transactions were captured on computerized Land Information System.

He said others are slowly being captured at the zonal offices and that is why complaints have persisted because land titles can’t be processed before data is recorded on the system. Serwambala added that other complaints on land are the result of family wrangles, not the land registry and lack of sensitization on how the new computer system operates.

Minister Beti Kamya directed the land registrar at Luwero Ministerial Zonal Office to ensure that all pending land titles are processed and issued to landlords within a month. She added that she has taken up investigations into the alleged corruption against some staff.

Other zonal offices where Ministry has registered several complaints are Mpigi, Masaka and Jinja.



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