Masaka Municipality Reclaims 23 Disputed Plots of Land

3563 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
He says that that this only means that the businessmen who have been claiming ownership of the contested plots of land are possession of forged land titles.

Several businessmen in Masaka are crying foul after the Lands Ministry handed over several titles of contested prime pieces of land to the municipality. During the 1979 war, Masaka municipality lost huge chuncks of land to private developers after the city hall was bombed destroying records of council properties. Some of the properties include Masaka Recreation ground, Hill Road primary school, Golf Course, Bus Park, Children’s Park, Lorry Park and Baines Terrace among others. Last year, Johnson Baryantuma, the town clerk Masaka municipality petitioned the office of the solicitor general and lands ministry to verify and make new land titles for the municipality after businessmen started grabbing its properties.

Now, the lands ministry has handed over several titles of council properties throwing several private developers into confusion. Johnson Baryantuma, the Masaka Town Clerk has welcomed the development saying that they are happy that the Ministry has responded positively and pronounced itself on the contested plots.  He says that that this only means that the businessmen who have been claiming ownership of the contested plots of land are possession of forged land titles. Baryantuma says that since they have reclaimed all the contested plots, the businessmen who had started redeveloping them have not option but to demolish their structures. He says the lease of the Municipality lease for all the titles expires in 2057.

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Godfrey Kayemba Afaayo, the Mayor Masaka municipality says he is happy that they have reclaimed the land titles adding that, they have been finding it difficult to prove ownership. He accuses Masaka Land board of conniving with the businessmen to grab public land without consulting the municipality which is the physical planning authority. Peter Ssenkungu, the New Chairperson of Masaka Land Board whose office is accused of connivance to grab public land including Green space has declined to comment on the matter.

But George William Kalumba, one of the businessmen claiming ownership of that Bus Park says his case if before court. Kalumba claims he can’t speak much about how he acquired the Bus Park land because he has a land title. Musa Kavuma, another businessman who claims ownership of Lorry Park land also refused to speak about the development. Masaka Municipality has been hit by land grabbing. Last year, Rev. Fr. Joseph Kaita, the Chairperson of Masaka Land Board was sacked for mismanaging land allocation. He was accused of corruption when he allegedly allocated more 120 plots of land to private developers including green spaces after receiving bribes.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.