Ministry To Issue Certificates For 80% Of Uganda Land


physician geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>Lands State Minister Hon. Sarah Achieng Opendi Tuesday revealed the move is aimed at guaranteeing their security over their tenure.

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adiposity geneva;”>Uganda courts are facing a serious backlog of cases concerning land wrangles.

Achieng says for a very long time, people have thought government wanted to grab their land especially Acholi. These fears were most echoed in areas where land falls under customary tenure which is one of the four recognized tenures under the 1995 Constitution.

Unlike the other tenure systems, customary tenure got full recognition under the NRM Government, as a means of conferring ownership rights in land to the users and occupiers of land.

Customary land, which accounts for an estimated 80% of Uganda’s land, has remained largely unrecorded with customary land owners fearing that they may lose it to unscrupulous persons because they do not have authentic papers to prove or show ownership.

To allay this fear government will issue certificates of customary ownership which confirm and are conclusive evidence of the customary rights and interests specified in it.

The Customary land owners shall be able to invest on the land which they own and also be able to access credit from Financial Institutions, according to the Minister.

The issuing of the Certificates will only be done after adjudication of boundaries by the Area Land Committees, together with the land owners and the recognized traditional institutions. Achieng says where there are disputes, the Certificates will not be issued until the disputes are sorted out.

In times of climate change, during the verification and marking of the boundaries of all interests in the land, Government shall encourage planting of trees along the boundaries to mitigate on the negative environmental impact.

The project will begin with training of the Sub-Country chiefs, who are also the recorders, chairpersons of Area land committees, District land Boards and the District land management offices in the Districts of Gulu, Amuru, Pader, Lira, Apac and Oyam.

In order to cut on costs, the process of issuance will start at the Subcounties where Customary Land Owners will apply for the Certificates.

“The area land committees will carry out the inspections, verify and mark the portions of Customary land to be recorded. They will then forward the applications to the District Land Board for approval,” says Achieng.

She adds: “Once approved, the Board shall write to the Sub-county Chief, who is a Recorder, to issue a Certificate to the Customary Land Owner. Customary Land Owners will not have to travel all the way to Kampala to have their Certificates processed as the entire transactions will be completed at the Local Government level.”

During this exercise, the Ministry has partnered with Norwegian Refugee Council in Acholi region and Land Equity Movement Uganda (LEMU) in the Lango region to ensure that the land rights of Customary owners are secured.

Once this Programme is implemented, according to the Minister, it is hoped that the tenure security of customary owners will have been enhanced.


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