By John Semakula
The Government has reopened the land registry office after two and a half months. The Ministry of Lands closed the registry on December 15 to pave way for its computerisation.
During the closure, the ministry scanned and updated land titles and transported them to the six newly-created zonal offices.
The ministry’s spokesperson, Denis Obo, told New Vision that the registry reopened on Thursday in line with the set time frame.
“From today the public is free to seek services at the six zonal offices,” Obo said. The six zonal offices are found in Kampala, Mukono, Jinja, Masaka, Wakiso and Mbarara districts.
The zonal offices were to be commissioned on Wednesday but the exercise was postponed. According to a brief to ministers on the opening of the zonal offices which Saturday Vision saw, each office will serve several districts.
Mukono will serve Kayunga, Buikwe and Buvuma, while Jinja serves Bugiri, Buyende, Iganga, Kaliro, Kamuli, Luuka, Mayuge and Namutumba.
Masaka will serve Kalangala, Bukomansimbi, Kalungu, Lyantode, Rakai, Lwengo and Sembabule.
The Kampala and Wakiso zonal offices were not attached to any other district.
Mbarara zonal office will serve Sheema, Rubirizi, Mitooma, Kiruhura, Isingiro, Ibanda, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Buhweju and Bukanga.
Residents of Butambala, Gomba and Mpigi will seek registration services from the Ministry of Land headquarters on Parliamentary Avenue.
Prior to the opening of the zonal offices, people had to travel to Kampala, causing congestion, which also promoted graft.
The $23.8m project which started in February 2010 was funded by the Government with support from the World Bank. The aim of the project was to expand access to land information systems.
The zonal offices are mandated to coordinate land transactions, provide technical support, guidance and support supervision to the district land boards.
The offices are to work hand-in-hand with the district land offices. The officials from the district land offices are free to move to the zonal offices on promotion and competitive basis.
The ministry has also issued a set of procedures to be followed at the zonal offices. These include paying a standard fee for the required documents before they are date stamped.
The services at the zonal offices include registering a caveat, mortgage, transfer and letter of administration.
Other services will be replacement of damaged titles and title search.