Lands, housing and urban development minister Judith Nabakooba has calmed the residents of Nakaseke District and assured them of her ministry’s commitment to solve land issues in their area.
Nabakooba, who was in Nakaseke to iron out escalated land issues of October 4 met locals at Ngoma Town Council offices who reported to her how officials at the lands offices in the district have not been of help to them but connive with people from ‘above’ to steal their land.
The minister was in Ngoma to put to rest a conflict at of land comprised in Bulemezi Block 973 Plots3,4,5 and Bulemezi Block 953 Plot 4 at Bulungi Kyambalataka Estate (Leasehold Register Volume 1082 Folio 7)
Measuring 10 square metres, the land is registered in the names of Kulistofa Lwantoneza, Anania Mukyondwa, Yozefu Nsaizi and Yozefu Kamya as tenants in common equal share. They were leased the land, registered and issued with CT on June 23, 1980. The lease was further extended for 44 years from initial five years much as all the four have since died and their estates have been passed to their heirs.
However, the refusal of the first three families on the title to surrender the shares of the 4th (Late Yosefu Kamya) claiming that he had sold his shares to the co-tenants in common equal shares brought the minister.
The late Yosefu Kamya’s family has approached several leaders and authorities and it was recently resolved that they should get their share of 2.5 square miles from the estates which met resistance during the exercise of survey works from the three families.
According to Rose Naluyima, a representative of the Kamya family, their concern is simple but the challenge is with the resistance it has been received with from the rest of the three people that has made it complicated.
“Our issue is not tribalistic or political, it is a family affair which can be solved amicably if all parties agree to meet and iron out this problem,” she said.
In response, minister Nabakooba asked all the concerned parties to bring original documents pertaining to the said land to her office since there are two titles on the land.
“Let the status quo remain until I scrutinize the papers so that we get to a logical conclusion. Stop politicking the matter, we shall verify and get to a conclusion with the help of your area MPs. I will set up a meeting at the ministry to solve this,” she said.
In the meeting convened, locals reported to the minister how the zonal officers in Nakaseke have become small gods of sorts who are not answerable to anyone. They claim that officers not only charge them exorbitant fees to offer them services but also connive with the wealthy people who come in to grab the land.
Nabakooba pledged to write to the minister of local government and also investigate the district land board of Nakaseke saying it is not fair that they serve people with money and leave out the poor.
“I have noted with concern that land officials do this, I am going to see how I can change them. I have also learnt of a number of complaints raised about them. What we need is service delivery and not anything hampering it. They are not stationed here, they will be changed,” the minister said, noting that they have to ensure equity when delivering a service.
Since most of the issues that locals raised were in court, the minister asked them to write to liaise with their MPs to fix a meeting with her so that she can help them.
“For those whose matters are in court, write and attach court documents so that we can send your files to the principal judge such that they can expedite these cases.”
She tasked the RDC to make a report on the land issues in the area and asked him to strengthen the presidential directive on land evictions.
“RDC, consult me all the time, do not wait to be overwhelmed to handle the issue because if implementation differs from consultation, your integrity is put at stake. The matters here are not hard, we just need to be committed to iron them out.”
The meeting was attended by local leaders, clergy, RDC Yahaya Kakooza, area MPs Sarah Najjuma (DWMP) and Nyongore Enock