MUKONO — The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) has cancelled a land title belonging to Indian businessman Prof. Minaz Karmali in an effort to save the country’s natural resources.
Mr. Baker Mugaino the Commissioner of land registration in the Ministry of Lands said.
Mr. Karmali’s certificate of title as comprised in Freehold register volume 1011 Folio 15 block 113 plot 1425 at Natebulimwa, Mukono District was issued in error or fraudulently.
He said in letter that the decision to cancel the illegal title was taken after public hearings.
“The office having confirmed in the public hearing that indeed the certificate of tittle as compared in freehold register volume 1011 Folio 15 block 113 plot 1425 at Nantabuliwa was illegally issued.
Contrary to the provisions of section 44 of the Land Act and followed the procedural requirements under section 91 of the land Act,” he said.
“Now, therefore, by vested upon me under section 91 of the land act, I hereby order that the certificate of title comprised freehold register volume 1011 Folio5 Kyagwe Block 113 plot 1425 be and is hereby cancelled from the register book.” He added.
The Ministry of Lands, confirmed the cancellation of title, and said it was free for Minaz to appeal the decision.
For year’s Minaz Karmali has been embroiled in Land battles with various land owners and local people in Mukono.
Many residents have confessed that Minaz Karmali who is well connected with in the security circles moves around with a loaded pistol and he has threatened to shoot many who object to his advances on their hands.
Recently he threaten to shoot an Asakari of Kalule Godfrey whose land Minaz wanted to grab according go the Asakari.
The Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters has since established that 600 hectares in Nonve Forest had been destroyed and land allocated to various people illegally.
In 2022 the National Forestry Authority sent notices to several encroachers who had titles in Namanve, Kajjansi, Kyewaga and Nonve forest reserves to vacate the lands.
Acquisitions of titles in reserve areas have affected the country for a long time, because of corruption and impunity by some government officials.
In 2018, the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters in Uganda, led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, discovered that the two wetlands of Kinawataka and Namanve had approximately 562 land titles.
According to NEMA, Namanve and Kinawataka wetlands fall in the category of public reserve areas.
These reserves must remain functional to filter effluent that drains from the neighbouring Bugolobi, Mbuya, Kireka and other areas before pouring into Lake Victoria.
In January 2020, former Minister of Environment, Ms Mary Kitutu, ordered the cancellation of about 200 land titles in Kinawataka and Namanve wetlands.
However, removing the people possessing titles in the wetlands and forest reserve has proved a long and challenging process.
Ms Beatrice Anywar, the Environment Minister, stated that wetlands and forests are rapidly disappearing. This tendency, which is likely to generate environmental problems, must be halted by the government.
According to Ms Anywar, Uganda’s wetland coverage has dropped from 17.5% in the early 1990s to 8.5%. The forest coverage has also dropped from 24% to 12.4%.
The ministers’ statements echoed President Museveni’s earlier directives five years ago. President Museveni previously directed factory owners to stop building in the wetlands.
Despite the President’s directive, contractors continue to build in wetlands all over the country.