Jinja Residents Reject Cost of Land Registration

2199 Views Jinja, Uganda

In short
They argue that majority of the 228 customary land owners settled on 28 acres of customary land in Masese III village, cannot afford the cost set by Geomatic Engineering Solutions for the registration of their land.

Residents of Masese III village in Walukuba/Masese division, Jinja municipality are opposing a registration fee of 2million Shillings imposed by a private land registration firm, Geomatic Engineering solutions Limited.
 
They argue that majority of the 228 customary land owners settled on 28 acres of customary land in Masese III village, cannot afford the cost set by Geomatic Engineering Solutions for the registration of their land.

Geomatic Engineering Solutions Limited was outsourced for the task by the Masese III village area Land Committee following an observation that several investors who wished to buy the land in question, were offering very little money to the settlers.  Initial reports indicated that the buyers were offering as little as 2 million shillings for each acre of land with a house. 

The investors included among others Islamic University in Uganda which wanted to construct a University campus in Jinja. Geomatic Engineering Solutions Limited was given the mandate in 2012.

Ruth Nabirye, an Administrator at Geomatic Engineering Solutions limited says land owners in Masese III have been offered 2million Shillings to acquire land titles in groups and 3million Shillings as individuals. She says the fee covers the cost of mapping, surveying and acquisition of the title.
 
But Francis Muya, one of the residents says that the proposed cost of land registration is way too high compared to the cost of the 1.5 acres of land he bought at 1.5million Shillings in 2000.
 
Hafsa Nambuya, another resident says the charge is far above the ability of the residents, most of whom are low income earners. Masese III is inhabited by mostly internally displaced people from Karamoja and Eastern Uganda.
 
Nambuya questions the criteria used to set the cost.
 
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But William Onek, the area Land Committee Chairman says the surveyors; Geomatic Engineering solutions has planned the area, conducted a topographic survey and consultations to establish the land ownership at no cost.
 
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John Mweru, the Masese III village Chairman says the exercise is an opportunity for people to register and acquire legal rights of their land in order to stop grabbers and earn more money from it.
 
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