Govt Suspends Issuance of Leasehold Land Titles

2205 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Leasehold titles can now only be issued with clearance from the President, Cabinet and the Uganda Investment Authority for the next three months.

Government has stopped with immediate effect the issuance of leasehold land titles to individuals and companies pending the compilation of a comprehensive land inventory.

Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Minister, Betty Amongi says the suspension will last three months. She says the decision arises from the luck of a clear record on Public and Government land in the Country and the numerous land conflicts. 

Amongi she says during the period of suspension, no leasehold title will be issued except with clearance from the President, Cabinet, and the Uganda Investment Authority. 

She says a committee has been set up to compile an inventory of Government and Public with three months.  Amongi says if the committee finds illegal occupants on government land inventory, the occupants will be evicted.  

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Leasehold tenure is a form of tenure where a party grants another person the right to exclusive possession of land for a specified period in exchange for rent.

Amongi says district land boards and authorities have failed to ensure that they hold public and Government land in trust for the citizens. She says District land boards have inconsistently allocating public land sparking off land-related conflicts. 
Government land is vested in or acquired by Government in accordance to the constitution while Public land is that reserved or held and used for public purpose.

Government plans to amend Article 26 of the constitution to include a sub clause to capture the principle that where the Chief Government valuer has valuated land  for compensation, the general population who agree with the value will be paid, while the minority will have to go to court.

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State Mnister for Housing, Chris Baryomunsi says the idea behind the planned amendment is to ensure that developments by government are not delayed by individuals claiming ownership on the land. He says individuals have a right to be compensated promptly and adequately and prior but should not hinder works.
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A committee has also been set up to curb land conflicts arising from illegal evictions. The committee will involve Police, ministry zonal offices and selected local leaders. 

The committee will also establish the land acreage of occupants on a case-by-case basis with the view of assisting tenants to pay for the land they hold. The development only affects public and government land.


About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.