Ministry to Overhaul Computerized Land Registration System

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In short
The computerization of the Land registry was funded by The World Bank to the tune of over USD 23 million with hope that it would ease the titling of property, registration of land or generally improve land administration. The system was initially piloted in a few districts and it has since been rolled out to the ministerial lands zonal offices.

Government plans yet another overhaul in the computerized land registration system few years after it was rolled out. There is concern that the new system has prolonged the process of land registration and titling.

The computerization of the Land registry was funded by The World Bank to the tune of over USD 23 million with hope that it would ease the titling of property, registration of land or generally improve land administration. The system was initially piloted in a few districts and it has since been rolled out to the ministerial lands zonal offices.

A French Company IGN France International (IGN-FI) was subcontracted to lead the configuration of a district based Parcel Information Management System and national land information system register. The register was completed in 2013 and launched by former Lands Minister, Daudi Migereko.

The Land Information System was introduced against the background that less than 20 percent of the land in Uganda is registered. It was also anticipated that it would lessen the period of processing land titles and searches for those involved in land transactions.

Instead, witnesses that have appeared before the Commission of Inquiry into land matters, say that the system has slowed the process of land transactions than in the past.

Robert Ssebunya the oldest Member of the Commission recalls the past when dealing with land registration in the country.  He thinks the manual system under the land registry that existed from 1908 seemed to be much faster.
 
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Sebunya's observation follows the admission by Louella Ataro, a senior registrar at the Ministry of Lands that transformation and computerization of the land registry has come with new challenges requiring another overhaul few years after it was launched.
 
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The Ministry according to Ataro has introduced a new system which is being piloted in Lira and Kabarole districts where the transaction is introduced in the system as soon as it is lodged and immediately goes to the registrar of titles for approval. She says the idea is to get back to a new system but create faster work flows.
 
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The new system has however been credited for improving the collection of land administration fees.

One of the terms of references of the Commission chaired by lady Justice, Catherine Bamugemereire is to inquire into the effectiveness of the land management and registration system in the country.

Some lawyers that have appeared before the Commission have raised reservations about the new system saying it is being used to grab land and manipulated to produce double titling.

City Lawyer, Peter Muliira told the Commission that he was planning to take the matter to court. Muliira said the system was being used to perpetrate land grabbing.

Uganda's efforts to improve land information management and land administration systems have been on for a long time. The government has from the early nineties tried to specifically address problems of land information handling but each time the new changes have come with challenges.