• Fri. Aug 19th, 2022

UGANDA, Masaka | Real Muloodi News | Masaka City leaders have raised the alarm over missing certificates of land titles for 20 plots of land owned by the city.

Micheal Mulindwa Nakumusana, the Mayor of Nyendo-Mukungwe Municipality, is questioning how the land titles of public properties got lost.

“We task the city clerk and his team to explain the whereabouts of the titles because they are custodians of documents and property of the council,” said Mayor Nakumusana.

The Masaka City inventory indicates that the properties whose land titles went missing include the Kkumbu playground, Masaka Regional Referral Hospital mortuary, the newly constructed Masaka Central Market, Katwe Market, Masaka Bus Park, and Mayor’s Chambers.

The others include Old Kkumbu Estate, Lions Nursery School, Masaka Public Library, Kkumbu Forest Reserve, Transit Parking Yard, Kyabakuza Health Centre II, Kimaanya residential house, Kimaanya Kaboneera Sub-County Headquarters, Bwala Public Playgrounds, City Yard, Masaka Golf Course, and other green belt spaces and plots in the central business area.

Mr Tonny Ssempijja, the Masaka City Speaker, said that although 34 properties are mentioned in the inventory, more than 60 properties, including public schools, health centres, and green spaces, have not been included.

“Most of the properties are not listed in the inventory which makes us believe that maybe they are no longer owned by Masaka City Council,” Mr Ssempijja said.

Florence Namayanja, the Masaka City Mayor, reported that she found a lot of irregularities in land acquisition and that the city has lost many of its properties through land fraudulent dealings.

“We have been pushing for this investigation since we entered office. There are visible irregularities which should be investigated including irregular leases, leasing land in wetlands, leisure parks, and green belts,” Mayor Namayanja said.

She also revealed that some dishonest individuals used public properties in Masaka City as security for their bank loans and is worried that the city may fail to expand its physical infrastructure due to a lack of public land.

She added: “Even in areas which we annexed to the city, much of the land is privately owned and it may require us to purchase land at a higher cost if are to change it for public use.”

Mr Geofrey Bemanyisa, the Masaka City Clerk gave an assurance that they are going to do a follow-up on the matter and will give a clear report to the council soon.

Mr Godfrey Kayemba, the former city mayor, is reported to have said that some of the properties were lost under ‘unavoidable circumstances.’

“Although some public properties were grabbed, council approved the sale of dome of them to meet the budget obligations then. There was also need to pay court awards in litigation matters against council,” he said.

It is alleged that Masaka leaders have over the years faced public criticism over the illegal issuing of public land to private developers. Some properties that have been sold off include the Mayor’s Gardens, Children’s Park, Town Clerk’s Residence, Old Kkumbu Estate, the public cemetery, and many forest reserves.

It is also reported that in June 2015, the High Court in Masaka gave out an injunction order stopping the district land board from making transactions on the land managed by the council.

However, the leader of the opposition, Mathias Mpuuga, who is also the legislator of Nyendo-Mukungwe Municipality, advised the city authorities to get special titles for the properties whose titles are missing.

“The procedure is clear, one can get a special title. The lands office should work hand in hand with the city leaders to sort out that,” he advised.

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