Lands, housing and urban development minister, Judith Nabakooba has asked locals in Rwampara District to embrace land registration in a bid to safeguard their land from fraudsters.
The minister, while handing over freehold land titles to beneficiaries in Rwampara in Bushenyi Village, Rugando Sub-County on July 7 advised the new landlords to register their land into a trustee person agreed upon by the family such that they curb conflicts and people who may want to sell off their land.
“Land fragmentation will affect production because I have seen Ankole people have big banana plantations and I think it is because they use land collectively,” she said.
According to Nabakooba, most of the land wrangles today have been fueled by redundant land that has not been utilized by the owners, which gives fraudsters a chance to claim it.
Government through the Uganda Land Fund has purchased free land titles for residents from Rwampara district in Greater Ankole region. A section of people from Rwampara County and Rwampara East benefited from this exercise, with 222 and 2,539 free holders titles issued in the two areas respectively.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the lands minister congratulated beneficiaries upon elevation from occupants to landlords. She revealed that the Rugando sub-county was earlier given 400 land titles. And in total, 6220 free holders titles have been issued in that area.
“Today, we are beginning a new generation of landlords with titles and you are going to hold them forever. This is one of our (NRM) manifesto implementation plans to help us resolve land disputes but also to resolve the multiple interests on a piece of land,” she said.
The minister revealed that the government through the World Bank is still conducting this exercise in all the five districts that make-up Greater Ankole and encouraged youth in the region to embrace government initiatives to make good use of the land.
“I encourage you to embrace government programmes of social economic development that were put to elevate your living standards. Also, to the beneficiaries, avoid land fragmentation and get a trustee such that you utilise the land as a whole,” she said.
Nabakooba also cautioned residents about money lenders who take away people’s properties after failing to pay back the loans.
“Don’t sell off your land. Also, avoid going for loans especially from money lenders because they will take your land for free,” she cautioned.
Among the titles that were up for issuing, 80 were still under processing despite owners clearing revenue. The minister gave Uganda Land Commission a one month ultimatum to print out those land titles.
“I have given you one month to ensure that all those land titles are printed and given to the owners,” she directed.
Nabakooba reported that through the Land Fund, the government has so far purchased 523 square miles of land across the entire country to stop illegal evictions.
Mr Augustine Bujara, a representative of Uganda Land Commission said 10,000 land titles have been given out in Uganda in the past one and a half years. 2500 land titles were given out in Kakumiro in January, 5000 titles in Bunyangabo, and Kibaale received 4500 land titles.
Rwampara Woman legislator Molly Asiimwe, thanked the president for the project and ensuring Rwampara is free from land disputes. She also lauded the lands minister for the commitment to resolve land wrangles despite the challenges accompanied with them.
About the land
Out of the 2,539 land titles given out in Rwampara East, 1769 free Land holds were given to men accounting, for 69.7 percent, 507 land titles for females, which is equivalent to 19 percent.
And both male and female joint ownership is 155 land titles (6.1 percent). Other 108 titles are for institutions of government, schools, wetlands, road reserves, markets and hospitals among others.