Lack of Land Title Threatens Development of Kitgum Main Market.

3783 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
Richard Ojara Okwera, the Kitgum Town Council LC3 Chairperson accuses some politicians opposed to the development during his reign of inciting the settlers.

Kitgum town council risks losing a modern market worth 6 billion shillings due to the absence of a title for the land earmarked to host it. The land is yet to be surveyed to pave way for council to process its title ahead of February 10th deadline. The site for the modern market is found in Westland parish in Kitgum town council, directly opposite the current facility.

But Kitgum town council has since 2008 failed to acquire a land title as a result of the resistance from the current occupants of the land. Richard Ojara Okwera, the Kitgum Town Council LC3 Chairperson accuses some politicians opposed to the development during his reign of inciting the settlers. He is however says everything is on schedule for final assessment.
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According to Okwera, the land owners have refused to accept the compensation paid out by council, which was calculated based on the current market values of their properties. He says 75 percent compensation; an equivalent of 39 Million shillings has been paid to the land owners and council has embarked on fresh negotiations with the land owners to have the remaining 25 percent settled before the fast approaching deadline on Monday.
The LC3 chairperson says council is considering topping up the money with plots of land it owns in Kitgum District Farm Institute since the final assessment of the readiness of the council for the project is due on February 10th. Ojara is optimistic that they will not miss the project.
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Under Phase II, 14 markets will be constructed compared to phase I that constructed only 7 modern markets in the municipalities of Mbale, Kampala Gulu, Lira, Hoima and Jinja among others. Vendors in the market are unhappy with the way the issue of the market is being handled. They are accusing the Town Council and some district officials of politicking over the project.
Concy Nyeko Atim, the Chairperson of Market Vendors says they have resolved to isolate politics from the development. She says they don’t want politicians to use them to achieve their selfish political interests.


About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.