The minister of Lands, Housing and urban development Hon. Judith Nabakoba on Friday given out 800 freehold land tittles to the People in Kagadi Sub county Kagadi district under Systematic land demarcation program.
According to the program, 800 more land titles to make a total of 1,600 titles will be given out to the beneficiaries after they have registered and cleared stamp duties.
Speaking to the residents at Kenga play ground in Kagadi sub county on Friday, minister Nabakoba encouraged the locals to end worries about eviction threats because the government has given them ownership on their lands after buying titles from the absent land lords.
Nabakoba said the program will stop land grabbing where she urged locals to use the lands for commercial purposes to enhance their household incomes.
She warned residents against practices of land fragmentation emphasizing that the habit makes the land less productive since it cannot be used for commercial production.
Nabakooba further urged beneficiaries of land titles to embrace government programs of poverty alleviation like Parish Development Modal, Emyooga and others.
She warned residents against staking the titles as collateral security in banks to acquire high interest loans.
In the same way, Nabakoba commendd the Kagadi Members of Parliament Musana Eric for Buyaga East constituency, Jenifer Kyomuhendo Mbabazi the Kagadi Woman MP and Barnabas Tinkasimire of Buyaga West constituency for their good leadership and service delivery to their electorates.
Barnabas Tinkasimire, the Buyaga West Legislator explained that the government agreed in principle with absent land lords to sell off their titles to government and in return give them to the residents to enable them acquire full ownership of their lands.
He asked residents to work hard in uplifting their household incomes.
Minister Judith Nabakooba who was expected to move to Sub Counties of Ndaiga, Mpeefu and Kyaterekera in Buyaga West on May 20th to address land conflicts later cancelled the program and promised to communicate another date when she will return to the district to address the issue.
In 2019, Locals and leaders from Kagadi District petitioned Parliament over illegal possession of over 150 acres of their land.
The Mpeefu Town Council LC3 Chairman, Robert Tumukwasibwe Birahuri who was part of the group said that the contentious piece of land which is located in the village of Mpeefu had been sold and titled to a private individual without the knowledge of the people occupying the land.
Tumukwasibwe said that they have approached various leaders including the Minister of Lands and the President in vain.
Hon. Barnabas Tinkasimire (NRM, Buyaga West) said that in addition to the above, the report that was used to inform the creation of the title in the name of Dr. Baltzar Kasirivu Atwooki was based on doctored information.
“A report was drafted and a group of people who do not belong to the area signed it forming the basis for the issuance of the title,” he said, adding that the people who made the report consented to the forgeries in front of the President.
The Speaker of Parliament then, Rebecca Kadaga promised to follow up the matter with the President to find out whether he had made any headway and also probe the Minister for an update on the issue.
In June 2022, the Parliament’s Committee on Public Accounts – Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) directed Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban development to cancel the certificate of title of the controversial 516 hectares of land in Kagadi district.
The accountability committee chaired by Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi, had been investigating allegations of fraud in the Sh2 billion land compensation scam where a city law firm, Lubega & Buzibira Co. Advocates represented 79-year-old Natalia Namuli in the sale of 516 hectares of land.
The money paid to the law firm is part of the controversial Shs10.6 billion supplementary budget that the lands ministry requested for in the Financial Year 2020/2021 to pay land claimants in Buganda and Bunyoro sub-regions.
COSASE investigations unearthed a syndicated fraud where letters of administration and other documents in the names of Natalia Namuli were forged to process a land title for the said estate to effect the payment.
In August 2022, the land title was cancelled.
The cancellation followed a recommendation by the parliamentary committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises as the land title was forged.
Joel Ssenyonyi, the chairperson of COSASE said they want all people involved in the fraudulent activities to be punished and the money lost recovered.
Credit: Photos by Parliament of Uganda and Bahati John Bosco (KKCR)