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Gov’t Seeks Shs57 Trillion To Pay Off Landlords To End Land Evictions

Museveni at Ndeeba church after its demolition by the landlord

Government through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is seeking Parliamentary approval for Shs57Trn to pay off all landlords so as to end land evictions in the country.

Government’s plan was revealed by Robert Kasolo (Iki-iki County) who also doubles as Vice Chairperson Physical Infrastructure Committee, while presenting the report before Budget Committee for the 2022/2023 budget framework paper.

Kasolo informed the Budget Committee about plans by Government to pay off all the landlords to stop the continuous land evictions in the county and the funds will be split among regions with Buganda walking away with a lion’s share of Shs33Trn, Bunyoro Shs13Trn, Ankole Shs1.6Trn and Shs71bn has been allocated for Bugisu region.

The development comes at the time Muwanga Kivumbi (Shadow Minister for Finance) castigated the NRM Government for failing to resolve the land question in Uganda for the 35years it has been in power and instead resorting to scare tactics of threatening to undo mailo land in Buganda, arguing that such rhetoric scare people from making long term investment decisions on their land.

Kivumbi remarked, “We don’t resolve some issues in this country. How can you for 35years be debating the land question in the country? Every year you tickle it and leave it, when will you settle it so that I know that I have my land and it is secure and I can invest on it? But you cause national panic by saying, I am going to change the law. That is bad politics and bad economics.”

Parliament’s Physical Infrastructure Committee also recommended for Shs9Bn allocated for the land eviction committee to carry out a study of various cases of evictions from land in Uganda with a view to ascertaining the trends, and assessing, in particular the legal needs of tenants by occupancy as victims and potential victims of evictions.

In their report before the Budget Committee, lawmakers on the Physical Infrastructure Committee also recommended to have Shs1.7Trn allocated to the Ministry of Lands for the creation of satellite cities including: Nakigalala along the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, Mpata in Mukono District, Nsimbe, Namataba, and Muziranjovu.

However, lawmakers on the Budget Committee  opposed the creation of satellite cities saying the matter isn’t a priority at the time Uganda is recovering from the COVID-19 economic effects.

There were also calls from the Ministry of Lands to ensure that Shs190Bn is availed in the budget for maintenance of roads in Wakiso District so as to ease traffic jams in the Kampala central business district.

“The committee is concerned about the intensity of traffic jam in Kampala and all possible means must be devised to improve the situation. 180Bn tarmac funds weren’t allocated. The traffic jam especially during peak hours negatively impacts on productivity,” remarked Kasolo.

A 2020 study by the international growth centre revealed that daily cost of congestion in Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area was equal to US$1.5Mn equivalent to Shs5.287Bn which accounts for 4.2% of Kampala’s daily GDP.

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