Masaka District leaders have asked the government to enroll the district on the list of beneficiaries
of the land fund as a solution to the escalating land disputes.
The leaders indicate
that their offices are overwhelmed by the escalating land disputes that are
rendering communities unsettled as they are being threatened with evictions.
Kateregga, the Masaka City Deputy Resident Commissioner in charge of Kimanya-Kanonera
division, wants the government to expand the scope of the Uganda Land Fund to
include the areas of Masaka, as an appropriate intervention to defuse the
growing hostilities arising from land disputes.
Kateregga, the majority of matters they are handling in their offices are
related to land disputes, that involve landlords who threaten to evict
the offices of Masaka District and City Resident Commissioners register at
least 15 cases of land-related disputes with dozens of people reporting as
explains that faced with such circumstances, they have considered petitioning
the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development requesting that the
district is added to the list of areas that are eligible to benefit from the
government land fund to enable tenants to acquire certificates of ownership on
the land they occupy.
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In 2014, the
government through a statutory instrument operationalized a special land fund
as a multi-purpose resource envelope meant to benefit targeted communities that
include tenants seeking to buy or own land, to support the government buying land for
redistribution to bonafide occupants or resettlement of the landless.
observes that many landlords in the area would also be willing to give tenants
certificates of ownership if at all they are worth compensated for their
Kateregga, some traditional landlords are manipulating the local council system
to deprive tenants of their land rights which also results in disputes.
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Gordon Mayanja, the Chairperson of Kyesiiga Sub-county says that the issues of
land disputes have become a great burden in the area. He says that both the
local leaders and affected communities in the area are currently unsettled
which even affects their level of productivity.
Nsereko a resident of Kasaala ward in Nyendo-Mukungwe Division, Masaka City
whose family is threatened with eviction, prefers that the government also set
standard rates at which tenants can purchase their rights from the landlords.
that land owners have also become highly exploitative to their tenants to the
extent of setting very high costs for tenants who wish to buy their rights, and
when they fail to raise the money they resort to coercion.