The Uganda Land Commission, the body responsible for managing Government land in and outside the country has sounded a warning on how more Government officials are grabbing Government land.
“It’s an open secret. Government officials are grabbing Government land,” said the Commission Chairperson Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki on Monday.
“Is the land safe? Well the land is not safe. That’s all I can say. The land is not safe. That is the unfortunate thing about the whole state of affairs.”
She added that her Commission is limited to take action because it doesn’t have the Police.
Nyakaisiki told press today that the commission’s work to stave off these powerful greedy government officials has made been harder by the sever lack of funding and understaffing at the commission.
While other bodies such as the Commission of Inquiry into land matters chaired by Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire was well equipped with its Police, Nyakaisiki says her Commission does not have Police.
Regarding the Fund established under section 41 of Land Act, she says since 2007 it has developed challenges.
The Land Fund is a multi-purpose resource envelope meant to serve the targeted beneficiaries including tenants seeking to buy or own land, Government seeking to buy land for redistribution to bonafide occupants or resettlement of landless among others.
“Government was paying promptly but when it came to 2007, that’s when the problem started. Government started failing on compensating the Land Lords and they kept on taking people and when we came we found there had been a ministerial directive by the Honourable Minister in May 2017 to stop Uganda Land Commission from taking on more land titles because the bill had really gone up. It’s about 1 trillion because you have to pay off the Lords and give the titles to the respective squatters. So you find that squatters/ tenants are so many,” she said.
Nyakaisiki added that some people are not on the list to be compensated but their titles are with the Uganda Land Commission.
“And why were they not put on the list? We don’t know why. Those are the things we are trying to establish. People offered their titles, they are with the Uganda Land Commission but they have never surfaced anywhere to be compensated. And it’s a sizeable number of people,” she said.