UGANDA, Buganda | Real Muloodi News | Mr Joseph Kimbowa, spokesperson of Buganda Land Board (BLB), recently authored an article in the Daily Monitor about BLB’s mandate and history. He explains the work they do goes beyond merely advising people on acquiring, using, securing, and developing their land for commercial purposes.
Buganda is a major subnational kingdom in central Uganda. In 1993, the government of Uganda enacted the Traditional Rulers (Restitution of Assets and Properties) Act to restore traditional rulers’ assets and properties previously owned by or connected with them, which were confiscated by the State.
In implementing that Act, and a subsequent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2013 between Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and His Royal Highness Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, the government returned Buganda’s land to the Kingdom.
The land authority known as Buganda Land Board (BLB) has a mandate that includes the management of at least 1,000 square miles of land spread across Buganda.
When Buganda’s land was returned, after over 30 years in state hands, most it was occupied by people with little or no proper planning, resulting in numerous unorganised slums. Since the Kabaka cannot evict people, BLB set out to advise them to register and start paying nominal ground rent as stipulated by the Land (amendment) Act of 2010. Therefore, BLB primarily embarked on a sanitising process. This included identifying all tenants on this land, registering them, surveying for those that can afford and issuing lease titles to the interested.
In 2010, BLB created the Land Title Access Financing Initiative (LAFI) to help millions of tenants cover the cost of title processing and eventually acquiring land titles.
Today, Buganda Land Board reports approximately 10 million people live and work on land owned by the kingdom, but only 250,000 are registered. Yet, less than 13,000 people have lease titles from Buganda Land Board. Many lack the funds and knowledge on the purpose of the titles and how to secure their tenancy. Therefore, this is an ongoing endeavour for BLB.
Buganda Land Board is involved in numerous construction projects. Most notably are some recent, very attractive and well-planned housing estates for the people of Buganda.
Buganda Land Board Housing Projects
Mirembe Villas, Kigo
The Mirembe Villas-Kigo project launched in 2015. Mirembe Villas-Kigo is a high-end community jointly developed by Chinese construction firm, Guoji Group Company (U) and Buganda Kingdom. With a total area of 257 acres, Phase 1 of the project covers a land area of 70 acres at the Victoria Lakeside, next to the five-star Hotel Serena and the Golf Course. A house in the Kigo project costs at least Shs300m.
The project also has access to the Airport Highway with convenient transportation. The first Phase is composed of 200 units of detached villas with Mediterranean style. Phases 2 and 3 consist of Apartments & Double storied Villas.
Guoji equipped the estate with supporting facilities, such as shopping mall, supermarket, club, bar, swimming pool, gym and sports courts.
In the wake of launching the spacious high-end Mirembe Villas, Kigo project, the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, tasked kingdom officials to think about his lower-rung subjects by building affordable houses.
Mirembe Estate, Sentema
Mirembe Estate in Sentema, Wakiso District, is currently under development following Buganda’s Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi’s instructions that the kingdom provide better homes for the people of Buganda at an affordable cost.
BLB, in partnership with Guoji Group, the constructors of the posh Mirembe Villas housing project in Kigo, is currently developing the 400 low-cost housing units. The first 100 homes in the Sentema housing project are ready for occupation. Mr. Kimbowa says that houses can be purchased with a 99-year lease title from BLB started at 52 million Uganda Shillings.
BLB and Guoji Group also entered into a deal with Housing Finance Bank Uganda to enable people to get access to credit to buy housing units being built at Sentema.
This makes the Buganda Land Board more than just a land vending entity. “It is difficult to find a land vending agency in Uganda, with land bigger than one square mile,” says Joseph Kimbowa, the Buganda Land Board Team Head of Communications.
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