The Public Accounts Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises (COSASE) has recommended that Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) safeguard and take possession of its land encroached on by residents.
The recommendation was contained in the committee’s observations and a report tabled on the Floor by the chairperson, Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi, during a plenary sitting chaired by Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, on Thursday, 06 July 2023.
The findings of the committee follow the Auditor General’s report laid before Parliament on 19 January 2023 on the financial statements of KCCA for the financial year that ended 30 June 2022.
“It was noted that out of the 242 pieces of land measuring approximately 184.818 hectares held, 24 pieces measuring approximately 36.79 hectares valued at Shs34.664 billion had been encroached upon by the local population,” Hon. Ssenyonyi, also Nakawa Division West MP, reported.
According to the report, most encroached upon land include Nakalama, and Kasenge which were purchased for the construction of a landfill in 1997 but KCCA did not take immediate possession leading to 64.4 acres (approximately 26 hectares being occupied by squatters.
Since 2015, KCCA has filed a civil suit against the squatters led by Yosta Masengere & Others.
The report also revealed that KCCA also owns land in Kyanja, a city suburb, on which there is a demonstration farm but with squatters making bricks. Equally, the land in Lusaze which hosts a filled-up cemetery was also encroached upon.
“The committee recommends that KCCA management should secure possession of its land, and keep track of the court proceedings to resolve all forms of third-party claims to ensure uninterrupted utilisation of land for service delivery,” Hon. Ssenyonyi added.
According to the Auditor General’s report, out of the 184 pieces of land measuring approximately 184.818 hectares the entity held, 48 pieces of land measuring approximately 37,755 hectares did not have land titles.
COSASE recommended that the Auditor General should audit all KCCA land in the next subsequent audit.
Hon. Anna Adeke (FDC, Soroti District Woman Representative) wondered why KCCA would continue to have non-titled land despite having a land management unit and legal department, and Executive Director. “It is because some people are profiting from the fact that the land is not titled,” said Hon. Adeke.
In his submission, Hon. Noah Mutebi (NRM, Nakasongola County) observed that the land in question in KCCA is under the mandate of the Uganda Land Commission (ULC).
“If there is a land transaction, KCCA, and ULC have to come together on the same table. We need to investigate both entities to get to the bottom of the problem for appropriate remedies,” Hon. Mutebi said.
However, both Hon. Minsa Kabanda, the Minister for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, and her deputy, Hon. Kyofatogabye Kabuye were not available during the debate to respond to the concerns raised in the report.