Uganda Land Commission-ULC has announced plans to carry out a fresh survey and compile data on all public land across the country to stem encroachment and the resultant conflicts.
John Fisher Kasenge, a Commissioner in ULC, says there are conflicts between district land boards, government institutions and Buganda Land Board resulting from illegal land allocations.
He attributes the mess on the fact that land boards can't easily identify land under their jurisdiction and boundaries. Kasenge says as a result, ULC has endorsed a plan to compile a list of all land under the commission, Buganda land Board, District Land boards and other institutions.
He declined to reveal how much the exercise will cost, saying they are still studying the budget. He however, hastened to add that the project will be financed by World Bank and Lands Ministry.
The exercise comes at a time when districts such as Luweero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola are embroiled in land wrangles with Buganda Land Board. However, some of the local leaders in Nakaseke are skeptical that the inventory will address the issues of encroachment and land conflicts.
John Mugerwa, the Nakaseke Sub County LC 3 Chairperson, says most of those handling land matters exploit the information gap to lease public land for their selfish interests.
Luttamaguzi Ssemakula, the Nakaseke South Member of Parliament, says there is need to overhaul all land offices, which he says have been penetrated by corruption, if land conflicts are to be stopped.
Ssemakula says Nakaseke district is embroiled in land conflicts because government officials connive with land officials to grab it and evict poor occupants. Recently, Ignatius Koomu Kiwanuka, the Nakaseke LC 5 Chairman accused Buganda Land Board officials of registering people on land that doesn't belong to the cultural institution.
Nakaseke District Executive has resolved to set aside Shillings 7 million to secure an updated cadastral map to establish land belonging to the district land board and Buganda land board.
In Luweero, Buganda Land Board claimed ownership of Mbale forest reserve in Butuntumula sub county and went ahead to collect Shillings 100,000 from 78 tenants for registration. However, it later emerged that the forest reserve belongs to National Forest Authority-NFA, which has since asked the occupants to vacate it.
Our reporter couldn't reach Buganda Land Board for a comment on the proposal by Uganda Land Commission to do an inventory. Recently, recently Buganda Land Board officials led by Moses Kizito Gambobbi, the mobiliser for Greater Luweero Region admitted that there is need to conduct fresh surveys to establish the boundaries of the restituted land before the registration of tenants is done.