Ugandans living abroad reassured on land ownership
September 5—The government has gone out of its way to reassure Ugandans living abroad, that systems are being put in place to make sure nobody swindles them in the buying or selling of land.
“We know you have issues related to purchasing genuine land. Some of you have been cheated or given bad deals on land. We are working on verifying the right real estate dealers. We are establishing for you a Diaspora Desk in the Ministry on any land issues, whether buying property including verification of land,” Betty Amongi, the lands, housing and urban development minister said recently.
She was speaking in the United States at a land and housing forum organized by the Uganda North American Association (UNAA) Convention. She told listeners the Ministry has introduced a lands management system specifically for Ugandans living in the Diaspora.
Amongi said it is aimed at minimizing land grabbing and any fraudulently related activity, but at the same time record-keeping has been upgraded.
Dorcas Okalany, the Permanent Secretary, said only 18% of land owners have registered titles or certificates. With most land holders not having documentary evidence of their property rights, an integrated lands management system is crucial.
She said, “The land information system is meant to digitize land that has been titled. This helps in minimizing fraudulent land deals. The process of digitizing all land in Uganda will go on until 2019.” The World Bank has been providing the bulk of the funding towards this aim.
Okalany said the Ministry has developed a systematic land demarcation system where land can be owned communally or through clans. Okalany said land around the country is going to be separated into regions referred to as zones.