UGANDA, Mbarara | Real Muloodi News | Judith Nabakooba, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, has directed government surveyors open government land boundaries in three Mbarara North Division villages, and to urgently investigate several land titles under grievances in Mbarara city.
Nabakooba, who was in Mbarara city in early March, made the directive after over 35,000 people led by Mwine Mpaka, the Mbarara City North County Member of Parliament, petitioned the Ministry of Lands for intervention in the land grievances. The residents say they are living in fear of being evicted from land on which they claim to be bona fide occupants.
One of the contested lands spans two villages in Kakiika and Surveyor in Mbarara city North Division, host of 8,500 squatters. Another stretch of contested mailo land in Bugashe and Katojo wards hosts 15,000 residents.
The inhabitants on the land are living in fear of being evicted by the Uganda Land Commission, who claims to have the land titles.
Since Mbarara was elevated to city status, there has been a jump in real estate development interest from both the developers and investors, causing land value to increase both within the city boundaries and also in the surrounding areas immediately outside the city. For this reason, it has become imperative to safe guard the rights of vulnerable people living on land which has become such a hot commodity.
When speaking to locals at Andrews Inn, surveyor cell, Minister Nabakooba said that surveyors from the Ministry of Land would perform an urgent boundary opening operation on the plots of land in question.
Ms Nabakooba said that the Ministry would use this method to determine how many acres of land are involved, how many people are affected, the number of tenants holding land titles and the location of those titles.
She directed the Ministry surveyors to complete the survey by the end of March 2022, and report the results to her office.
According to government legislation, it is not permissible to evict people without compensating them. Thus, the minister stated that her Ministry would prioritise the individuals who are presently living on the land.
The minister reassured the occupants of the three cells that they would not be evicted.
Karim Abdullah, the Chairperson of the Surveyor cell, Nyamityoobora Ward, has urged the government to repeal the Uganda Land Commission’s land title so that locals can get a land lease or land titles for 99 years from the land board.
Last week, H.E. President Museveni banned land evictions that had become rampant countrywide, without the approval of the local District Security Committees (DSC).
The President issued stringent directives to that effect exercising his powers under Articles 98(1) and 99(1) of the Constitution, which empower him to guarantee good government and defend the Constitution, in a letter to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja on February 28, 2022, to prohibit any evictions that the DSCs disapprove.
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