13 June 2019

Uganda: Buganda Land Board, Mityana Leaders Agree On Disputed Land

Buganda Land Board (BLB) has allowed about 200 residents occupying part of land housing Magala Health Centre III in Masaka Municipality to regularise their tenancy.

The board had initially ordered those who illegally settled on the land to vacate and only bonafide occupants were to be considered.

However, following several meetings between BLB officials and Mityana Municipal Council authorities, it was resolved that all occupants be given the chance to regularise their tenancy and pay nominal ground rent to Buganda.

Mr Denis Bugaya, the BLB legal and public relations officer, said they also agreed to give 5.8 acres to Mityana Municipal Council to expand the health centre and headquarters for Tamu Division.

Mr Bugaya urged the authorities to submit the requirements necessary to process their land title.

"The remaining part [of the land]which is not occupied will be redeveloped by the kingdom," he added.

During earlier negotiations, BLB had proposed to give only three acres to the health centre, the move municipal leaders protested.

Appreciation

Ms Esther Ndyanabo, the municipality mayor, welcomed the development, saying acquiring a land title for the health centre will enable them utilise the land for development projects without fear of being evicted.

"We are grateful to Buganda Kingdom for accepting to give us a land title. We did not have proof of ownership despite the fact that we plan to expand the facility and put up a maternity ward ," Ms Ndyanabo said.

The 100-acre piece of land was reportedly donated to government by Sir Edward Muteesa ll to serve as an isolation centre for people suffering from leprosy.

However, the municipal authorities lacked documents to back up their claims which gave a leeway for squatters to encroach on the land.

Mr Tom Miiro, the Tamu Division town clerk, urged the tenants to cooperate with BLB officials and avoid being mislead by some politicians.

"Buganda Land Board has already surveyed the land and refusing to work with them will be at the detriment of the residents ," he said.

Registration

In 2017, BLB kicked off the mass registration of bibanja holders on Buganda land across the 18 counties in the kingdom as well as sensitising them about the benefits of regularising their tenancy and many have since embraced the programme.

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