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Gov’t Cancels Over 210 Titles Issued in Forest Reserves

The Uganda government through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has canceled over 210 certificates of title which were erroneously or fraudulently issued in different forest reverses within the districts of Wakiso, Mukono and Kayunga, URN reports.

According to the list of canceled titles seen by URN, 10 titles are from Kajjansi forest reserve at Nakigalala, 13 from Nonve forest reserve at Buwanuka in Kakiri Sub County, 90 from Kyewaga forest reserve in areas of Kitinda, Bufulu, Lwaka and Katabi.  

Other canceled titles include 41 from Mukono and Kayunga districts, 12 from Gunda local forest reserve and 41 from Namanve forest reserve in areas of Bukasa, Kitokolo, Degeya and Kolo.  

The cancellation comes barely two months after the commission of inquiry into land matters halted the compensation of over shillings 40 billion to 160 title holders who had titles in wetlands and forest reserves including in Namanve, Mugomba Central Forest reserve and Gunda local forest reserve. Several of the forest land in question has been before the land probe.  

Records from the National Forests Authority (NFA) indicates that Uganda loses about 9,000sq hectares of forest cover every year to encroachers yet only 3,000sq hectares are replanted.  

Denis Obbo, the Ministry of Lands spokesperson confirms the development saying that there have been several investigations which have revealed that most of the canceled land titles were erroneously issued in already gazette areas.  

Obbo says that a number of land titles are in areas which are targeted for several government projects including the awaited multibillion Bukasa Inland Port among others. He says that all people occupying the land whose titles have been canceled will not be compensated when the said projects start since they are illegally occupying the land in question. 

Obbo also notes that more land titles covering areas of the proposed Standard Gauge Railway-SGR which were illegally acquired by speculators are also lined up for cancellation. “More land titles are lined up for cancellation and among these are those found in the Standard Gauge Ra corridor.”  

According to records, right of way for the SGR covers 8.9KM of land in national forests and over 53km in wetlands, however several individual have been claiming ownership of these gazetted land with some presenting certificate of titles.  

Speculators increase cost of government projects as they seek hefty compensations for the land they acquire speculatively. A couple of projects have been affected, including some oil roads, the now complete Entebbe expressway among others.

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