UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | The Deputy Chief Justice of Uganda, Richard Buteera, has warned the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) against corrupt tendencies such as favouritism and sectarianism in the performance of their duties regarding land matters.
While he was presiding over the swearing ceremony of two newly appointed commissioners at the Highcourt in Kampala on the 19th of August, he said that the reason citizens do not adhere to decisions and recommendations made by the ULC is due to the corruption exhibited by its officials which is troubling since the ULC handles delicate matters concerning land.
“You must repel any temptations of corruption, sectarianism or favouritism and ensure that the decisions you make for us are the right ones and are guided by law that you have professed to follow and uphold,” Justice Richard Buteera said.
The newly appointed duo include Hajjat Madinah Nsereko and Tom Fisher Kasenge, who were appointed for their second term to serve on the ULC.
He noted that land justice is one of the priorities in the transformation of the Judiciary and to encourage the commissioners to be transparent because allegations of bias have increased against statutory bodies.
“We shall tap from your experiences and expertise to achieve our vision. Our work shall become a lot easier when institutions in the land sector play their roles in accordance with the law,” he added.
One of the reappointed commissioners, Tom Fisher Kasenge said that one of the biggest challenges they face as the commission is the lack of an updated inventory which shows government land and which has in the long run allowed land grabbers to own government land for which they even process land titles.
“We have a lot of challenges because the commission is located at Nakawa in Kampala where we have our offices and serves the whole nation even those abroad, but we don’t have representatives in districts and thus the district land boards have usurped our authority and are giving out freehold land titles to people on government land which is supposed to be managed by the Uganda Land Commission,” Kasenge said.
The other challenges revealed by Kasenge, which according to him affect the operationalisation of the ULC are the commissioners who serve on a part-time basis save for the chairman, and the lack of sufficient funds.
“Government gives us money, but it is not sufficient to address the demand of landlords who want their land bought by the government because even those who have already surrendered their land, we have not yet concluded paying them. Even the land we have bought and fully paid for, we have not been given resources to translate the land into titles,” Kasenge explained.
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