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Minister Wants District Land Boards Probed for Fuelling Land Grabbing in Bunyoro

The minister who is currently in Bunyoro on a working visit says that he has established that several officials in the various land boards are fueling land grabbing, through the issuance of land titles to the rich at the expense of the poor.
Minister Mario Kania Obiga while meeting leaders in Bunyoro.Photo by Emmanuel Okello.

Audio 4

The Minister of State for Lands Mario Obiga Kania wants all the district land boards in the Bunyoro sub-region probed for alleged corruption.  

The minister who is currently in Bunyoro on a working visit says that he has established that several officials in the various land boards are fueling land grabbing, through the issuance of land titles to the rich at the expense of the poor.

According to Obiga Kania, the land board officials are also frustrating efforts by the poor to acquire titles for their land by demanding a lot of money to have their land documents processed. He said that several cases have been recorded in Hoima, Buliisa, Kiryandongo, Masindi and Kagadi, among others.

In Buliisa for example, Resident District Commissioner Longino Bahebwa says that less than 20 people have genuine land titles and that all the others are struggling to acquire titles for their land.

//Cue in; "Getting a land…

Cue out…ten or twenty.”//  

Jane Atuhura, a resident of Walukuba in Butiaba sub-county says she has now spent almost seven years trying to process her land title but she is still stuck because the district land board is requesting a lot of money to have her documents processed.

Ali Tinkamanyire, the LC III Chairperson Buseruka sub-county in Hoima district says there is a need for government to immediately come on board to help the local people in the region to acquire titles at no cost given the invasion of speculators as a result of the oil discovery.

Similarly, Fred Lukumu, the LCV Chairperson of Buliisa asked the government to offer free land titles to the people of Bunyoro to prevent speculators from grabbing their land.

//Cue in; ”We pray that…

Cue out…current development trend.”// 

It's on the basis of this that the Minister wants the district councils to write to the lands ministry to have the services of the land boards revoked if they cannot offer sufficient service delivery to the citizens.  He adds that he would institute a committee to investigate the rampant fraud and fraudulent issuance of fake titles by the land boards that have seen thousands of people brutally and forcefully evicted from their ancestral land.

//Cue in; ”The district land…

Cue out…tired get out.”// 

Obiga has however tasked the people of Bunyoro to utilize the Ministry's Lands Zonal Offices-MZO and ensure that they acquire titles to guard their land against being grabbed by speculators following the oil discovery in the region.

//Cue in; ”We ask you…

Cue out:…grab your land.”//

The Ministry of Lands allocated two lands' offices one in Masindi and another in Kibaale districts respectively to carry out land registration activities in the region. For the districts of Hoima, Kiryandongo, Masindi and Buliisa, the land registration exercise is conducted at the Masindi Lands Zonal office while the districts of Kibaale, Kakumiro, Kikuube and Kagadi are being served by the Kibaale Lands Zonal Office.  

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