The Executive Director of Legal Aid Service Providers Network (LASPNET) Sylvia Namubiru, however, points out that certificates of Customary Ownership will not help if the rich and powerful continue to abuse and disregard the law as is the case presently.
Land experts have said that promises by Presidential Candidates of
solving land problems will not yield results if the impunity of the powerful
and corrupt officials is not dealt with.
Several presidential candidates have made promises of ending land grabbing and
improving land security for the vulnerable.
The National Resistance Movement Party (NRM) in its 2021-2026
campaign manifesto has promised to support customary tenants register their
land per the law. The government is issuing certificates of Customary Ownership
to customary landowners in West Nile Acholi, Teso and Lango sub-regions.
The Executive Director of Legal Aid Service Providers Network (LASPNET) Sylvia
Namubiru, however, points out that certificates of Customary Ownership will not
help if the rich and powerful continue to abuse and disregard the law as is the
Namubiru says that she observed that if the people have no access
to the courts and justice they still end up losing their land.
The NRM has promised to cancel land titles that were issued by district land
boards on land that was already occupied by customary tenants. It has also
promised to clean up the land registry and cancel multiple titles on the same
The ruling party manifesto also promises to fight “entrepreneurs of land
conflicts” and roll out public portals of the land information system to facilitate
Namubiru notes that ICT has always been effective in solving challenges in land
management but if the same corrupt people running the registry are left to
manage the system then nothing will change.
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Dr Fred Muhumuza an economist says the laws that relate to the registry need to
be strengthened to avoid the use of digital systems to cheat individuals of
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The Forum for Democratic Change in its manifesto has promised to
establish a robust land fund to acquire land commercially and redistribute it
to the landless with free title deeds.
In the NRM manifesto, the ruling party has promised to increase the land fund
from the current 92 Billion Shillings and use the system of willing buyer
willing seller to buy off the landlords and deliver titles to Bibanja holders.
However, Dr Muhumuza says the fund was abused when it was placed under the
Uganda Land Commission.
He believes that the fund needs to be taken back to the banking system because
unlike the Land Commission the banks were doing due diligence.
Dr Muhumuza says the fund was meant to be a revolving fund in Post Bank where
the landlord is paid off and squatters were able to pay back the money over time
to the bank and then be handed a title. But when the fund was moved to the
Uganda land commission it became a haven of corruption, he says.