Gov’t to Cancel Land Titles Issued In Wetlands

visit web generic geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>While addressing the media at Media centre, information pills the Minister of Information and National Guidance, ed Rose Namayanja, revealed that cabinet had agreed that as a matter of principle, policy and law, all titles in wetlands on public land acquired unlawfully (after 1995) be cancelled.

The Minister noted that all land titles on critical ecosystems, especially those on the 200m lakeshore protection Zone be cancelled and any claims for compensation or relocation of people be critically evaluated.

Namayanja added remarked that government is not obliged to pay compensation for any developments that may have been undertaken by the holders of the illegal titles of wetlands because the position of the law (case law) is that an illegality cannot be compensated.

“The law assumes that the holders of the illegal titles acquired the titles and further developed the land very well knowing that their actions were illegal and they should therefore bear the consequences of their illegal actions,” Namayanja assured the public.

She remarked that this will send a strong signal to the perpetrators of the illegal act and it will go a long way in enhancing the restoration of the integrity for the wetlands in the country.

“Wetland portions on Public Land that have been reclaimed and converted for economic activities for the public good and with approval from the controlling/regulating authorities such as NEMA and KCCA, should be declared vanquished and land titles issued therein should be cancelled.”

Namayanja further observed that the degraded wetlands whose ecological functions are recoverable should be restored and the land titles issued thereon be cancelled.

She further instructed the ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development to commence cancellation of the land titles as soon as possible, starting with those within Kampala City.

“The Ministry of Water and Environment and NEMA in concert with other Government structures such as the local governments and the police should take immediate steps to ensure that wetlands that are not yet degraded or encroached upon are fully protected and should produce a wetland Atlas for the whole country.”

She, however, noted that all land titles on wetlands on Public land issued before 1995 may be surrendered by lessees to Government under compensatory arrangements.


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