Land Speculators Dominate Jinja District Land Board- Deputy Town Clerk

940 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Waidhumba says the Land Board sold the land without consulting the municipality, which is the planning authority.

The Jinja Deputy Town Clerk, Jofram Waidhumba has implicated the Jinja District Land Board of connivance with speculators.

He told the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Land Commission on Tuesday that Jinja District Land Board is dominated by corrupt, fraudulent and non-patriotic officials.

  Waidhumba was appearing before the Commission following complaints by vendors from Karibu Karibu Market. 

The market, which seats on approximately 0.6 acres of land, is found near Napier market in Jinja Town

  The Vendors claim that their market was subdivided into 30 plots and sold off to private developers. 

Waidhumba says the Land Board sold the land without consulting the municipality, which is the planning authority.

He explained that the market land was under the management of the Municipality, saying they had reserved it for parking space after the construction of Napier market.  

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  The vendors under Karibu Karibu Market Vendors Association say that in 2009, the new owners of the marketing started claiming ownership.       In 2015, the Association decided to seek permission from the Municipality Council to construct permanent stalls. 

Jinja municipality and the Physical Planning Committee approved the request and was due to forward the recommendation to the National Planning Authority-NPA to approve the change in plan.   

However, before the recommendations could be forwarded to NPA, the Municipality and the District Physical Planning Committee learnt that the District Land Board had subdivided and issued tittles over the same land.    

Waidhumba accused the District Land Board of taking decisions without consulting the municipality. 

He explained that although the municipality is represented on the board, the views of the Municipality are not considered because their representatives also serve as speculators.  

The complainants had earlier pinned municipal council leaders of being speculators. 

Waidhumba said that such a complaint had reached him but he couldn't tell which council members are involved in buying and selling Council land.

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Waidhumba said that the board has also often denied tittles to the Municipality but is quick to grant tittles to individuals who he believes are speculators. 

He said that in the past, the Municipality applied for over 17 titles but only three were granted in a period of over 10 years.

  He explained that one of the tittles was only granted after court intervention. 

The Municipality had applied for land on Plot 51 in Jinja Town but the Land board denied them the title on grounds that a private developer had applied for the same land.    

  It was later discovered that the land applied for by the private developer person was plot 15 A that was different from that sought by the Municipality.   

Currently the land is being utilized by the vendors, who Waidhumba, says operate under fear of eviction from the private developers.

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