Poor Management Hindering Utilisation of Tooro Kingdom Land

1434 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
The 186-year-old institution has vast hectares of land in Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge and Kyegegwa districts where it could derive money to finance its activities. However, some of the land is idle, while in other areas squatters have lived on the land for more than ten years and have not paid rent depriving the Kingdom of large amounts of revenue.

Poor land management is affecting utilisation of Tooro Kingdom land.
 
The 186-year-old institution has vast hectares of land in Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge and Kyegegwa districts where it could derive money to finance its activities. However, some of the land is idle, while in other areas squatters have lived on the land for more than ten years and have not paid rent depriving the Kingdom of large amounts of revenue.
 
Squatters have put up projects such as schools and majority of them have constructed permanent houses on the land.

Edgar Kamurasi, a member of the Tooro Kingdom Parliament, the Orukurato, says that all kingdom land that is idle should be utilised. He says it is embarrassing that the kingdom turns to begging whenever it's organising functions like the King's coronation anniversary and yet it can generate revenue from the idle land.
 
Kamurasi says that the Kingdom can secure investors who will utilise the land to build schools, hospitals, industries and markets and also renovate the dilapidated kingdom headquarters.
  
In Karambi Sub County, more than 400 squatters are occupying the land and are not paying any revenue to the Kingdom.

Olimi Rutabalengya, the Kingdom lands minister, admits the problems of the department and says that they are being addressed. He says that surveying all kingdom land has resumed after it was halted due to limited funds. Rutabalengya says the kingdom is in the process to start surveying the land to know the size which will be leased out for development.
 
Rutabalengya also says that a new land board has been appointed, which will streamline the leasing of land and collection of revenue. 
 
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Tooro Prime Minister Bernard Tungwako says that the kingdom is to start issuing leasehold titles to every occupant of the kingdom land, a move he says is to address the conflicts.
  
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Several chunks of kingdom land have in the past been sold and leased off and the proceeds not accounted for.

The kingdom and the central government are yet to resume negotiations for the return of kingdom assets which include land and buildings that are scattered in different parts of Tooro.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.