Minister Nantaba to cancel 500 land titles
The State Minister for Lands, Ms Idah Nantaba, has warned that more than 500 land titles procured by real estate dealers could be cancelled on grounds that they were fraudulently transacted.Unveiling a committee constituted by President Museveni in January to tackle alleged illegal land evictions and trespass, Ms Nantaba singled out Zion Estates and Jomayi Property Consultants, another big real estates company, for allegedly colluding with officials in the Lands ministry to fraudulently acquire land titles without adequately compensating evicted tenants.
Zion Estates yesterday acknowledged that the minister is in possession of “master copies of some of their land titles which were in the Lands Registry” but insisted that they still own the original titles. Jomayi officials failed to respond to the minister’s allegations by press time.
The Zion Estates spokesperson, Mr Brian Galiwango, said tenants previously occupying Bulwanyi Estates had filed complaints to the minister about compensation. The committee will focus on cases of illegal evictions, fraudulent land transactions, multiple titling [where one piece of land has more than one title] and titles cancelled illegally.The investigation team will bring together officials from State House, police, the Solicitor General’s office and the Judicial Service Commission. According to the minister, the team will conduct investigations directly in the affected districts, in a move aimed at circumventing corrupt officials in the Lands ministry.In February, President Museveni issued a directive halting all evictions until a committee led by the junior Lands minister clears them. The directive came on the backdrop of a surge in land evictions despite the new land law which the President said would solve all land problems.