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    OPINION: District Lands Boards Must Account Or Quit – Lands Minister Mayanja

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    Minister Sam Mayanja

    It is mandatory for District Land Boards to account to the District Council and consequently to the people of Uganda, how they handled matters of land in the District for the previous year.

    Non accountability amounts to misbehavior, misconduct or incompetence and is a ground to remove a member of the Board from office by the District Council on the recommendation of the District Executive Committee under section 58 (2) (b) and (c) of the Land Act.

    There is no way the Ministry of Land Housing and Urban Development can implement its monitoring and valuation function in regards to land management in the Country without these annual reports being submitted by the District Land Board.

    The annual reports must contain, among other things, a summary of all transactions undertaken by a District Land Board in the year, summary of all Board sittings, list of achievements and challenges faced by the Board and proposed recommendations.

    District Land Boards are a creature of the constitution whose functions are set up both in the constitution itself and the Land Act.

    These functions are among other things to “to hold and allocate land in the District which is not owned by any person or authority”.

    This means that land owned by government or bibanja holders is not available for the District Land Board to allocate. Also not available for allocation by the Boards is land covered under article 237 (2) (b) of the constitution and section 44 (1) of the Land Act. This land includes land which is a protected nature lake, rivers, ground water, natural ponds, natural streams, wetlands, forest reserves, national parks and any other land reserved for ecological and touristic purposes.

    Should a District Land Board enter into or undertakes or concludes any transaction or allocates land mentioned above, that transaction is void by virtue of section 59 (1a) of the Land Act, as amended. The Land Act gives Commissioner Land Registration under section 91 to cancel a land title issued to such a land without referring the matter to a Court or District land Tribunal.

    The District land Board is mandated to exercise the role of lessor and to exercise the powers of a controlling authority in respect of leases granted out of public land then controlled under the repealed 1969 Public Land Act. In this regard a District Land Board is obligated to honour all the conditions and covenants in the existing leases including those implied under the repealed Public Land Act 1969.

    In the exercise of its duties a District Land Boards must abide by the Guidelines on the Administration of the land under the Land Act, Cap 227 issued on 12th July 2005.

    Under those guidelines, a District Land Board in exercising the powers of a lessor is prohibited from automatically re-entering a lessee’ land and provides that renewal and extension of leases on initial and full term for all citizens is automatic.

    The guidelines also makes it clear that where a lease on full term expires and the former lessee applies for renewal of the lease, the District shall charge a premium of 10% of the unimproved value of the land. When a lease shall be renewed for a shorter term, the lessee shall pay a proportionate premium. Where there is a variation of lease regarding user, premium and ground rent will be determined to reflect the changes.

    It is important for all to be aware that article 237 (5) of the constitution allows any Ugandan citizen who had been granted a lease out of public land to convert it into freehold in accordance with the law setup by Parliament. This Law was passed by Parliament under section 28 (1) of the Land Act cap. 227 and the District land Board are obliged to do the conversion to freehold if a citizen of Uganda applies.

    All these issues and the performance of the District Land Boards in fulfilment of the Law are covered under the annual reports which the District Land Boards must issue annually in compliance with section 60 (3) of the Land Act.

    All the confusion of District Land Boards allocating public land, land with bibanja holding, protected forests, wetlands and wildlife areas, re-entering citizens’ leases which have expired when they are not supposed, refusing to extend leases when this is automatic for all citizens, exacting lease premiums beyond the 10% of the unimproved value of the land etc. etc., are all as a result of defiance of section 60 (3) by refusing to account, despite repeated reminders by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

    District Land Boards which have failed to account as required by law, have no legitimacy to continue in office for the succeeding year. In effect the District Executive Committees and District Councils must by 1st January 2023 disband all District Land Boards which have not submitted accountability and insure that new ones are put in place. Ugandans are a decent people, they deserve accountability from those chosen to manage their most important asset-Land.

     

    Dr. Sam Mayanja

    Minister of State for Lands

    smayanja@kaa.co.ug

    www.kaa.co.ug

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    We Are Not Surprised, Bobi Wine Reacts As Gov’t Shuts Down Human Rights Office; Blames Regime For His LGBTQ Photoshopped Pictures

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    The president of the National Unity Platform (NUP) Robert  Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine is unhappy with the decision by government to terminate the operations of the offfice of the United Nations High Commissioner For Human Rights (OHCHR).

    The ministry of foreign affairs said last week that it will not be renewing the mandate of OHCHR due to the strong government commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, the prevailing peace throughout the country, presence of  strong national human rights institutions and a vibrant civil society with capacity to monitor the promtion and protection of human rights in the country.

    Bobi Wine says he is not surprised by the move, further alleging that the regime has in the past closed Non Government Organisations (NGOs), Facebook and DGF (Democratic Governance Facility) due to ‘growing international condemnation’.

    “In the face of growing international condemnation and isolation, tyrant Museveni has in the past responded by shutting down NGOs, Facebook, DGF and declaring several international staff persona Non-Grata (unwelcome) or deporting them,” Bobi Wine’s comment reads in part.

    OHCHR in 2021 condemned the brutalisation of journalists who had gone to cover Bobi Wine’s petition to OHCHR  after the 2021 general election. These were brutalised during a crash between police and NUP supporters.

    Bobi Wine has also come out to comment on pictures that have been circulating on social media portraying him as an LGBTQ advocate. Bobi Wine says the pictures were photoshopped by regime propagandists.

    “Over the past weeks, paid regime propagandists have photoshopped  these images and shared them widely to drive their known agenda. Please ignore them and treat them with contempt,” he said.

    Bobi Wine says while his supporters are ‘abducted’ and accused of computer misuse and offensive communication, regime propagandists are at liberty to fake anything against the opponents. He further stated that no amount of lies or  blackmail will deter him in his quest for a better country (Uganda).

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    Angels Of Death Strike, Take Two Of Uganda’s VIPs In 2023 Opener

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    Two of Uganda’s Very Important Persons have Monday died.

    National Unity Platform’s parliamentary flag bearer in the last year’s Omoro County by-elections, Simon Toolit Aketcha is dead.

    Toolit, died on Monday morning.

    The news of his death was confirmed by Omoro county MP Andrew Ojok Oulanyah.

    “It is a dark day in Omoro! We have lost one of our gallant sons and former MP, Hon. Simon Toolit Akecha! Hon. Toolit was the MP for Omoro County between 2006 & 2011 and was a candidate in recent by-elections. May his soul rest in eternal peace!” OJok tweeted.

    Toolit put up stiff political resistance against the late Jacob Oulanyah before also competing against his son Andrew Ojok Oulanyah.

    Toolit will be remembered as a candidate to have competed against the Oulanyah’s while holding the flag for two different parties for under ten years.

    In 2016, Toolit, then a candidate of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) contested against NRM’s Jacob Oulanyah and polled 6,823 votes against the latter’s 8,218 votes.

    In the same manner, Uganda’s high commissioner to Kenya and Seychelles, Dr Hassan Galiwango, has died.

    Galiwango died Monday morning at Nairobi Hospital where he had been admitted.

    The late was the husband to Mbale City Woman Member of Parliament, Connie Nakayeze Galiwango.

    President Museveni appointed Galiwango as the high commissioner to Kenya in October 2020.

    Galiwango was also the former long serving director of finance and administration at the NRM secretariat at the time of his ambassadorial appointment. Ms Medina Naham, the NRM party chairperson of Koboko District, replaced him at the secretariat.

    The cause of his death is yet to be communicated by the government.

    Last year, Bank of Uganda governor prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah and Gen. Elly Tumwine among other VIPs died.

     

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    Five Dead As Bomb Goes Off In Church Near DRC, Uganda Border 

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    A bomb killed at least five people on Sunday after detonating in a church in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the army said.

    Details of the attack remain hazy, but military spokesman Antony Mualushayi said the “terrorist act” happened in a Pentecostal church in North Kivu province’s Kasindi, a town on the border with Uganda.

    Mualushayi later told reporters that at least five bodies had been taken to the morgue following the blast, in what he called a provisional death toll.

    Joel Kitausa, a local civil society figure, put the death toll at eight and said 27 other people had been wounded.

    AFP was unable to independently confirm the toll.

    It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack. Mualushayi said that one suspect — a Kenyan — had been arrested.

    The DRC’s communications ministry said on social media that the attack was apparently carried out by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group.

    The ADF — which the Islamic State group claims as its affiliate in Central Africa — is active in the Kasindi area.

    It has been accused of slaughtering thousands of Congolese civilians and carrying out bomb attacks in Uganda.

    The ADF has planted bombs in towns in North Kivu in the past.

    Since 2021 a joint Congolese-Ugandan military operation has been targeting the ADF in North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri province.

    Over 120 armed groups roam mineral-rich eastern DRC, many of which are the legacy of regional wars that flared at the turn of the 21st century.

    Source: AFP

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