The canceled land title is located on Elgin Road in Masaka Town; measuring measures 2.17 acres whose ownership has been under dispute between Masaka City Council and the family of late Francis Kakumba which also claims to have acquired the same land in 2011.
The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has
canceled a second land title for Masaka Children’s Park, which was reportedly
acquired fraudulently by a private developer.
The canceled title is located on Elgin Road in Masaka Town;
measuring measures 2.17 acres whose ownership has been under dispute between
Masaka City Council and the family of late Francis Kakumba which also claims to
have acquired the same land in 2011.
In July this year, Sylvia Nagujja Kakumba formally applied for a holding permit for the same land, indicating that they were the rightful
owners of the land and intended to occupy it for development.
However, a sharp dispute arose when a section of the local
leaders led by Juliet Kakande, the Masaka City Woman MP opposed the takeover
of the land arguing that the council still has a running lease for the said
land and the second land title was irregular.
According to Kakande, in 1958, the former Masaka Town Council obtained a 99-lease offer for the same land, which was accordingly gazetted for a
Children’s Park and there has never been a transfer signed to allocate the land
for private use.
Besides, Kakande says that the original certificate of title
indicates that the disputed land title is located on plots 64-75 Elgin Road in
Masaka town; but the new title places the same property on 58-72 Bwala Road,
which raises serious suspicions.
They accordingly resisted the planned takeover of the same
land before they also petitioned the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban
Development to investigate the modalities under which a second land title was
issued before the original lease expired.
In an arbitration meeting between the two warring parties at
the Ministry of Land, Baker Mugabo, the Commissioner for Land Registration recalled
the second land title for eventual cancellation observing that it was issued in
He indicates that their studies had established that the same
property had overlapping certificates of title, which is not permissible under
the Registration of Titles Act.
Mugabo indicated that there was no way a second title could be
issued on a piece of land that still has a running lease.
Meanwhile, Zahara Nalubyayi, the Masaka City Female
Councilor for the Kimanya-Kabonera division has appealed to the Ministry of Lands
to conduct an inquiry on the issuance of overlapping land titles, suspecting
connivance between the staff in the lands zonal offices and unscrupulous politicians
who sale of public assets for selfish gains.
She says that several public assets in Masaka City Council have
been irregularly lost in dubious transactions by politicians and some corrupt
staff at the Ministry of Lands.
Besides placing a caveat on the same land, Nalubyayi indicates
that they are going to reach out to the family of the late Kakumba to reveal
the circumstances under which they obtained the certificate of title, to help
in prosecuting the culprit.
Ssekyewa, a Lawyer representing Sylvia Nagujja Kakumba says they are pondering
to challenge the cancellation of the land title through the courts of law.