Hon Persis Namuganza, the state minister for lands has warned that unless government recapitalizes the Land Fund to a tune of 1.7 trillion shillings, it might take nearly a century to settle all the land injustices that persist in the country.
The minister sounded the warning on Tuesday while updating members of the Physical Infrastructure Committee of Parliament, on the status of this resource envelope aimed at resettling the landless and enabling tenants to buy or own land.
The minister said government efforts to sort out land encumbrances in ten years as has been projected, is a far cry.
“If we go by the currently government funding, it will take us like 80 years,” Namuganza said.
Commenting on her colleague’s concern, the new Lands housing and urban development minister, Hon Betty Kamya said government is currently looking for funds to replenish the land fund.
At the moment, she said, government is considering borrowing 500 million dollars equivalent to 1.7 trillion shillings as a means of offsetting prevailing land cased linked to Britain’s colonial legacy.
“If we are to resolve this matter in ten years and file it away, we would require about 500 million dollars. And since it’s not easy to get this from our annual revenue, the best option will be to borrow a wholesome amount and get it done in ten years,” she pointed out.
Kamya also proposed that the annual Non Tax Revenue (NTR) collections amounting to 130 billion shillings which usually is sent to the treasury be retained by the lands ministry.
“The sector also proposes that it should be allowed to retain some portion of the non-tax revenue that it collects for government to be used for the land fund,” she stated.