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Land officers warned against illegal certificate fee collection

By Robert Ariaka

Added 22nd March 2019 12:23 PM

The land certificate fee collected by the districts is illegal according to Opio Henry Ogenyi, the Principal Land Management Officer heading Arua regional office under ministry of lands.

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Stephen Ndegeya, the senior staff surveyor in the office of ministry of lands confirmed that from last year, over 250 land tiles have been processed from the time the office was opened. (Photo by Robert Ariaka)

The land certificate fee collected by the districts is illegal according to Opio Henry Ogenyi, the Principal Land Management Officer heading Arua regional office under ministry of lands.

ARUA- Officials from Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban development have issued a warning to all districts to stop land certificate fee collection.

The land certificate fee collected by the districts is illegal according to Opio Henry Ogenyi, the Principal Land Management Officer heading Arua regional office under ministry of lands.

Ogenyi says the land certificate fee collection is paid to Uganda Revenue Authority in the consolidated funds account but not to the district local government land board.

He clarified that, the districts in the past would collect land registration fee for land titles which is an illegal practice.

He says this money is only paid to the consolidated fund account through Uganda Revenue Authority. The local governments only collect the fees for lease forms provided at sub county and district levels, but not the land certificate fees.

He made the warning during a meeting organised for land officers and chairpersons for the nine districts in West Nile region on Thursday in Arua town.

The meeting reminded the land officers and chairpersons of their roles and responsibilities. The land officers are advised to stop complicating the procedure of processing land titles imposing a lot of bureaucracy that makes it difficult for people who come from far places to easily access offices.

Ogenyi called on the people who would wish to process land titles to stop travelling long distances to Kampala but make use of the regional office in Arua that handles land title and reduces on costs for travels.

Many people have registered mortgages, leases, free hold and customary land titles. The people have been able to get their titles easily and faster compared to travelling to Kampala.

Stephen Ndegeya, the senior staff surveyor in the office of ministry of lands confirmed that from last year, over 250 land tiles have been processed and more files are already being processed.

Ndegeya challenged the municipal authorities to block any development on land that has no title and ensure all developments are done in connection with the planned designs.

He says planning is entirely the responsibility of municipal council and districts to conduct enforcement for better development. Ndegeya notes that, along Niva crescent, people have constructed houses on areas planned for roads.

The district land board committee are reminded to conduct research on land valuation costs and update ministry of lands for easy compensation.

Alice Akello Opio, the deputy Resident District Commissioner Arua says because of land conflicts, several people have lost lives and others have been jailed.

She says 90 percent of cases the office handles are land related. One person was killed this week from Ajia Sub County over land conflict and Akello appeals to the leaders to engage in massive sensitisation of the public to  avoid conflicts.

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