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Luwero Chief Magistrate Cautions LC Chairpersons Against Signing Land Agreements

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Speaking at a public dialogue at the Luwero Chief Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, Munobe explained that under the Local Council Court Act, LC 1, 11, and 111 chairpersons have quasi-judicial powers to adjudicate in certain complaints, which include settling disputes involving customary and untitled land.
Luwero Chief Magistrate Samuel Munobe speaking at Public dialogue organised at Luwero Court on Thursday

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It is irregular for lower local council chairpersons to sign on land agreements as witnesses, the Luwero Chief Magistrate, Samuel Munobe has warned.  In Luwero district, lower local council chairpersons charge between 1 and 5% of the total value of the land sale to sign on agreements and witness the transactions.

However, the Luwero Chief Magistrate, Samuel Munobe, says that both the levy and act of LC I, II, and III chairpersons to witness land transactions are irregular. Speaking at a public dialogue at the Luwero Chief Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, Munobe explained that under the Local Council Court Act, LC 1, 11, and 111 chairpersons have quasi-judicial powers to adjudicate in certain complaints, which include settling disputes involving customary and untitled land.

Munobe says that with such powers, it's unlawful for the chairperson to turn around and act as a witness in the land transaction and endorse the sale agreements yet complaints may arise, which necessitate their adjudication. He also says that even the law of contracts doesn’t require the chairperson to sign or stamp such agreements.  Munobe advised buyers to do due diligence on the land ownership by consulting LC Chairmen but emphasized that there was no need for them to sign on land agreements as witnesses.

// Cue in: “It becomes difficult…  

Cue out;…not the law,”//  

Luganda Byte

//Cue in: “Atunda ayina…

Cue out;…ga be LC,”//

Salim Zimula, the Kakabala Parish Councillor in Butuntumula sub-county, said it was an abuse of office for LC 1 leaders to use office stamps to confirm land transactions.

//Cue in: “Ekyo kyebayina….  

Cue out;..mu nsonga eyo,”//  

Some residents accused LC 1 Chairpersons of fuelling land conflicts by witnessing the sale of land to grabbers after soliciting money from them. But Isaac Nanzuka, the LC 1 Chairperson of Kalongo Miti zone in Luwero town, said that their role is to ensure that people buy land from the rightful owners.

// Cue in: “Omulamuzi Ku Nsonga…

Cue out…ma kooti,”//

Fred Walugadda, the Secretary of Nongo LC 1 village in Nakaseke district, said that both the buyers and LC 1 leaders were not aware of this anomaly. By May this year, there was a case backlog of 491 cases at Luwero Chief Magistrate Court. These included 193 cases of land, 225 civil cases, and 73 criminal cases. 

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