By Brian Mayanja
Abdunassar Olekwa has been appointed secretary to the Kampala district land board.
The institution had been without a secretary for two years, following administrative wrangles.
Olekwa replaces Sarah Kusiima, who was transferred two years ago.
“The assignment takes immediate effect. You should, therefore, report to the chairperson Kampala District Land Board for further duty instructions,”wrote Gabindadde Musoke, the lands ministry permanent secretary, in a February 6 letter.
Olekwa will, however, also continue serving as a senior land officer at the lands ministry.
Yusuf Nsibambi, the Kampala district land board chairman, said the board had not been fully operational, since 2012, when Kusiima was transferred. Olekwa’s appointment means the board will start renewing property leases and individuals will also be able to buy and sell land.
Nsibambi said individuals will also be able to access loans from financial institutions, using their renewed lease property as collateral.
“The Government incurred losses in terms of revenue collection and financial institutions found it hard to process mortgage transactions. Individuals could not sell their property. About sh3b was lost in taxes,” he said.
Sources say since Olekwa’s appointment has been a deliberate move aimed at clearing a backlog of cases.
The lands ministry will pay Olekwa’s salary, while Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) will be responsible for his allowances.
According to the 1998 Land Act, the secretary to the board is a public officer, appointed by the District Service Commission. The board secretary must have knowledge and experience in matters relating to land.
The district land board has powers to acquire, sell and lease land. It also has the authority to improve or demolish any building in the district.
In performing its functions, the Land Act of 1998 clearly stipulates that a district land board shall be independent of the Uganda Land Commission and shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.