Frequently Asked Questions

 

When do you plan to table the land policy in Parliament?
The Land Policy will be laid on the table in Parliament for the information of Parliament as soon as the Ministry receives an official communication of its approval by Cabinet from the Cabinet Secretariat.

Other than the plan to tax individuals who acquire land for speculative purposes, what else is included in the land policy?

It is not true that Individuals who acquire land for speculative purposes will be taxed. Instead, the policy seeks to promote dialogue, public awareness and sensitization of these land owners on the benefits of utilizing the land. The Policy also will consider other incentives for attaining optimal land use.
The overall land policy framework emphasizes land use rationalization. It provides for Customary land tenure to be at par with other tenure systems; It protects the rights of the vulnerable groups and minorities  e.g. ethnic minorities, pastoral communities, women and children and the tenants on registered land, to mention but afew.

The policy has provided for reforms of our Land Administration institutions to address the bureaucraticprocedures and delays involved. Historical injustices are also addressed.

The policy is quite comprehensive because Uganda has never had one since independence. My Ministry shall soon be in position to provide simplified and translated versions of the policy for all Ugandans to get to know it.

Uganda has consistently suffered with land wrangles, despite the country passing a land act and its amendments. How will the land policy solve these problems?
The Land Act was passed without a policy to provide a basis for sound principles for the law. Normally the correct procedure is to develop the policy and the enactment of the law follows on. This was not the case for the Land Act because the 1995 Constitution set a two year deadline to have the Land Act in place.
Now that we have a comprehensive policy, we shall be revising the Land laws to overhaul them and put them in conformitywith the Policy. There is already aLaw Review Working Group in My Ministry, which is scrutinizing these laws with a view of aligning them and bringing them in conformity with the National Land Policy.
The National Land Policy has provided transitional solutions to the problems regarding evictions, disputes and conflicts. Land Tribunals shall be coming back, and these will be under the Ministry responsible for Land. They will also be well facilitated to ensure that citizens’ cases are handled with dispatch.

There have been violent attacks over land in northern Uganda which received little focus when the country was amending the land act. How does your Ministry plan to solve this problem?

Northern Uganda is dominated by the customary land tenure system. Most of the customary land is not documented, making it unsecure and leaving it vulnerable to disputes and land grabbing. The National Land Policy has proposed reforms of the Land Act (CAP 227) and the Registration of Titles Act (CAP 230) and other relevant land laws to bring them into consistency with the national land policy and to provide for registration and the issuance of Certificates of Title for Customary land.

I understand government plans to amend the constitution to allow Kampala's landboard be part of the central government, what will this change in reducing fraud?

It is not a matter of amending the Constitution but a resolution of inconsistencies. The Name, Kampala District Land Board, is not consistent with the KCCA Act, under which Kampala City is administered as an Authority. In the meanwhile my Ministry suspended processing of titles for land under KCCA, because there is no Secretary to the KDLB, whose office is the legally mandated office to submit/externalise documents out of the Land Board. Once all these changes are effected and offices filled, then we can ably verify land transaction information submitted and process the various land titles.

What will digitising the land registry change?
The Land Registry will be more responsive to the needs and demands of the citizens and business clients. There will be more efficient and speedy registration of transactions. The problems of missing land records will be eliminated. There will be a decrease in the cost and space required for storing land records. There will be online access to the information in the Registry with reduced interfacing of Ministry staff with the public, which encourages soliciting for unofficial fees.
Problems inherent in the manual system such as the following: Multiple allocations of plots; Forgeries and altering of Land Documents; Unauthorized involvement in Land Allocation; Land Use Abuses; Encroachments on roads and road reserves; Wrong and overlapping Surveys; Inefficient revenue generation and loss of revenue; Rampant subdivisions, amendments and falsification survey information on land titles, will no longer happenThere will be special online access to Courts, Banks and mortgage finance institutions.

There has been a view that when Uganda faces a problem, it passes a new law with out ever implementing existing ones, to what extent will these changes at your Ministry cause real change and reduce the land wrangles that we see now?
Land reforms take a bit of time. However, Government is committed to the implementation of the National Land Policy because the majority of Ugandans derive their sustenance from land. The success of most Government programmes will depend on the effective implementation of the Land Policy. That is why the discussions of the Land Policy were chaired by H.E the President.

Is a land agreement made between the buyer and seller legally binding without witnesses or LCs? Put it this way, i bought land for shs.20m. Paid shs.17m infront of LCs and witnesses. But when it came to the balance of shs.3m, the seller asked us to meet at Equatorial hotel and we signed the agreement there because he did nto want to pay LCs more money. Is it legally binding? Can i use it to chase a land title?
In my view the binding agreement is between the buyer and the seller. When the two do a sales agreement, they include their own witnesses who may include the LCs.

LCs witnessing on Sales agreements may be for security reasons – to know the buyer and for the buyer to know the area’s local leaders. They also may provide the buyer with valuable information e.g incase of multiple sales on the same piece of land.

Thereafter, when you begin the process of ‘chasing a land title,’ the Seller and the buyer must sign a Land transfer, which has a provision for witnesses.
All witnesses on the Land transfer form are required to: state their names clearly; provide their telephone contacts and e-mail address if available, in addition to the Postal address; and clearly state their qualification. In case of Civil Servants witnessing, one must be of the rank of (U5B) and above i.e. Graduate level, rank and; should state the Ministry/ Department/Agency where he/she works; In case of Private Surveyors they must be registered and licensed with Uganda Surveyors Registration Board; and In case of Advocates they must be licensed to practice law in any given year and should be on the roll of Advocates. LCs therefore do not witness on the Land transfer form, but may do so on your sales agreement.

Do you have any information on what is referred to as “okwegula”? How does one determine the amount to be paid to the holder of the title?
If you have a copy of the Land Act (CAP 227) ‘okwegula’ falls under section 35 – options to purchase and Land Amendment Act (2010) 35 (7) & (8). It is important that a valuation assessment is done to establish the true value of the kibanja and the things on it. You can then hold negociations to reach an agreement.

Advise me on the procedure for transferring the name from one person to another plus costs involved.

The Applicant must have in his/her possession fully completed set of Transfer forms which include a Transfer form and two Consent forms, A photocopy of the duplicate certificate of title and two authentic Passport photographs of the buyer and seller.

The Applicant presents the documents to the Valuation Division for valuation assessment for Stamp duty. The Applicant checks with the Valuation Division within a period of 3 working days to pick the form and proceed to pay stamp duty and registration fees in the Bank. Stamp duty is 1% of the value of the land. Assessment for payment of Registration fees is done by the respective District Cashiers.

Pay the fees in the Bank, get a receipt and your Transfer form embossed. Submit all documentation together with the Duplicate Certificate of Title, receipts and photocopies of all documents to the Mailo Registry.

The photocopy is stamped ‘Received’. The applicant is asked to check after 10 working days.

The Applicant presents identification documents and the Photocopies to collect the Duplicate Certificate of Title. The applicant signs for the Title and the Photocopy is stamped ‘Returned’ on completion.

So the Documents required include : Duplicate Certificate of Title, set of Passport photographs, embossed Transfer form and consent form and General receipts of Payment.

Fees paid: Stamp duty- 1% of the value of the land; and Registration fees – 10,000/=

What exactly is the land committee headed by Hon.  Idah Nantaba tasked to do?
Identify, investigate and return tenants by Occupancy and Landlords who have been illegally evicted from their land; Identify persons involved in illegal evictions for purposes of prosecution and compensation of victims; Sensitize the tenants and land owners on their rights and obligations and initiate the process of issuing Certificates of Occupancy; Assist land owners with authenticated eviction orders to execute them; and To implement the President’s directives as comprised in his statement of the 22nd February, 2013.

Is this committee competent to solve the numerous land disputes given that several law suits have been issued against its leader (Hon. Idah Nantaba)?
It is important to separate Hon. Idah Nantaba from the committee on Illegal Evictions. The committee which she heads is comprised of lawyers from Judicial Service Commission, Ministry of Justice, UPDF’s Legal Department and the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. The several suits filed against the Hon. Idah Nantaba are in her capacity as the Minister of State for Lands and are being handled by the Office of the Attorney General.

Why does Government side only with tenants and not Landlords and Real Estate dealers?
The lawful and Bonafide tenants on registered land are protected by the Constitution Art. 237(8&9) and the Land Act S. 29. There have been genuine issues raised by tenants against Real Estate dealers such as forcefully evicting them from their bibanja and destroying their property without providing alternative means or resettlement plans. It has happened in Jagala, Busukuma, Nakigalala, Vvumba, Kasangye, Nampunge and many other places were the landlord-tenant phenomenon is prevalent. Some property developers have been accused of rendering tenants landless and homeless including vandalizing graves. In a country were we have about 600,000 registered land owners and over 20,000,000 tenants, it becomes unfair to have the majority of the population suffering in the hands of a few individuals. The country does not yet have an Estate Policy and Law to govern the Real Estate sector which has led to the estates sector to encroach on rural agricultural land.

Have you come across cases of peasants encroaching on private property and if so what was your response?

Yes, there are cases of people who encroach on registered land. These are not protected by the law as long as one occupied land after 8th October, 1983. Such a person should look for his/her landlord in order to negotiate and regularize their stay on the land

Land disputes are rampant in rural areas and the State House land Unit couldn’t solve them (that is why President Museveni handed over the task to you). Do you think you will measure up to this enormous task?

Land disputes can not be settled in one day. The most important issue is to mediate between the landlords and tenants. The NRM government created these institutions because it wanted to see a harmonious relationship between landlords and tenants as legislated in 1988. The committee will handle the task and the results will be seen. There should be no evictions, tenants should pay nominal rent and eviction should be only by court order. There has been some connivance regarding illegal evictions by some institutions and the committee will handle this problem accordingly.

The Land Act has been regarded as “Anti-Investor” by a section of land dealers. Could you elaborate on some of its pros and possibly clear the air about the misconceptions held by such people?
The Land Act can not be Anti-Investor because it provides for foreign and local investors to hold land titles as long as they have followed the right procedures.

 

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