Lands Ministry Registers Customary Land

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In short
Government is grappling with registration of customary land in areas where communal land is the predominant tenure system, according to an official from the Ministry of Lands. The Ministry is currently undertaking a certification of customary land exercise in Kasese district.

Government is grappling with registration of customary land in areas where communal land is the predominant tenure system, according to an official from the Ministry of Lands.
 
Customary land is land owned by indigenous communities and administered in accordance with their customs, with the Land Act 1998 listing individual, family and common ownership as the types of customary land ownership.
 
The Ministry is currently undertaking a certification of customary land exercise in Kasese district. The ministry's spokesperson, Dennis Obbo, reveals that attempts to carry out a similar exercise in the two regions have not been well received, with claims that government may be targeting their land for investors.
 
"We have had challenges with implementing this in these areas because of the past experiences regarding business people who tried to get land in districts like Amuru for investment. The communities there even sent away our people when they tried to register them," Obbo reveals.
 
After years of blocking the Madhvani Group from setting up a sugar factory in Amuru district, the Lamogi community retracted from its earlier stance and agreed to provide land for the establishment of the factory.
 
Obbo notes that if customary land in such areas is not well documented, it will be vulnerable to land grabbing. He adds that this will be a legal document that will show actual ownership of land and can be converted into free hold land.
 
//Cue In: "This would be…
Cue Out…ownership of the land//
 
However Aruu County MP, Odonga Otto says the exercise will be in vain in Northern Uganda, explaining that the certificates being issued are not recognised as legal documents.
 
He contends that legally, the certificates only give recognition that an individual owns land but it cannot be used to transact business.
 
Cue In: "It is owned….
Ce Out…part of the custom//
 
Obbo insists that government recognizes the customary land certificates and reveals that the project has worked out in Kasese district, which has been prone to land ownership wrangles.
 
He adds that the exercise will also help to enhance food security since ownership of land will be clearly defined.