By Moses Mulondo
Government has completed the noble project of computerising Uganda’s land registry which will greatly minimise the so many land conflicts in the country.
In an exclusive interview with New Vision on Thursday, lands minister Daudi Migereko revealed that the ministry had started using the computerised registry.
“A few days ago, we started using the computerised land registry. People can now get their computerised land titles in the land offices and communicate to us if they face any problem,” Migereko said.
The minister also revealed that in the course of computerising the registry, they discovered so many forgeries of land titles and investigations aimed at prosecuting the culprits have already commenced.
Migereko said the project has cost government US$23.5m which was a grant by World Bank.
World Bank is also supporting similar projects of computeriSing land registry in Ghana and Tanzania.
“The computerised national land information will solve problems of forging titles, missing files AND the red tape in searching land information. Storage and retrieval of information will be easier and faster,” Migereko stated with a smile of relief.
He however clarified that the first phase has dealt with land information in the six zonal (sub-region) areas of Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso, Masaka, Mbarara and Jinja.
The minister explained that unlike in the past when issuance of land leases and land tiles has been at the ministry headquarters in Kampala, the services will be provided in the zonal offices.
The coordinator for land sector reform, Richard Oput, explained that the ministry chose to begin with the above mentioned six zonal offices because 60%-70% of land transactions take place in those areas.
Oput reported that the second phase of computeriSing the land registry will commence in July.
The other zonal offices where offices have been built and equipped with computers, surveying equipment and other requirements but whose land information is yet to be computeriSed include Mbale, Kibaale, Fort Portal, Masindi, Arua, Gulu and Lira.
Oput stated that in those sub-regional offices which have been completed, residents will only have to go with references like the block, plot number and where the land is located to quickly get any information they want regarding their land.
He revealed that the other land reforms the ministry is working on include drafting a Bill seeking to regulate the activities of real estate dealers, and another new land law of land information system to guide the operations of the computerised land registry.
The ministry has also embarked on reviewing Uganda’s old land laws to undertake their amendment reconcile them with the modern changes in the society.
The ministry has also just re-opened the school of surveying and land management and equipped it with a modern resource center involving a computer laboratory, library, and modern surveying equipment.
The completion of computerising land registry in the areas where most land transactions take place will greatly minimise land wrangles and simplify the judicial process of adjudicating land cases in courts of law.
Migereko revealed that the number of land titles in the country is slightly above 500,000 most of which are in the central region, Ankole,
Tooro, Busoga and Mbale but which constitute only 18% of the entire land in Uganda.
The rest of the other parts of Uganda there are no land titles as land is owned in clans and communal arrangements