LUWEERO. The Commission of Inquiry into land acquisition and management headed by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire has established that some unscrupulous land dealers in Luweero District pronounce some landlords dead with intent to transfer their land titles into other people’s names.
During a public hearing in Luweero District last week, Justice Bamugemereire wondered how Ugandans with land titles can be assured of safety of their titles when titles are dubiously transferred and important documents stolen from land offices.
“The issues at Bukalasa land office are very important to the nation. We have cases of titles issued and situations where people are declared dead and titles dubiously transferred yet the owners are still alive,” she said.
“How can somebody be assured of his title if tomorrow another person can be issued a title on the same piece of land?” This is an office with many land agents waiting to defraud the public. How can we return confidence of the public at the land office? Justice Bamugemereire told the lands officials led by the commissioner in charge of land titles, Mr Robert Opio.
Among the landlords who were pronounced dead, when they are still living, according to the commission, include Ms Elizabeth Babirye.
According to the commission findings, Ms Babirye’s land title was dubiously struck off the title list and transferred in the names of Erasto Bassajja Nsolo for Block76, Plot 88 &89 at the land offices in Bukalasa, Luweero District.
Another victim is Mr Steven Kalema currently living in the UK whose land title for Block 442, Plots 118 Bulemeezi, land measuring 150 acres located at Kikyusa Sub-county was dubiously transferred to a new land title under the names of Edwin Lubwama using a forged High Court order signed by Justice Michael Owori who has never been a judge.
Mr Kalema who travelled from the UK to testify against Lubwama, said the Bukalasa lands office was notified about the illegal transaction in 2012, when the title was changed but the lands office never took a step to either arrest Mr Lubwama or even after proving that he forged a court order and lied about the name of a high court judge who has never existed. Justice Bamugemereire tasked the registrar of Bukalasa land office, Mr Denis Kahabura to ensure that the white page for Mr Kalema purportedly stolen from the lands office is swiftly recovered.
“You have only one person with the key to the strong room. This person must be tasked to produce the documents that reportedly got missing in a store where he is in charge,” Justice Bamugemereire told the lands officers.
Among the landlords who were pronounced dead, when they are still living, according to the commission, include Ms Elizabeth Babirye. Ms Babirye’s land title was dubiously struck off the title list and transferred in the names of Erasto Bassajja Nsolo for Block76, Plot 88 &89 at the land offices in Bukalasa, Luweero District.