Local councilors have tasked the Chief Administration Officer (CAO) with the responsibility of ensuring that all government-owned land in the district is officially titled. This decision comes as a response to a report presented by Paul Tusubira, the Chairman of the Bushenyi District Land Board, which outlined the district’s intention to use a piece of land owned by the West Ankole Diocese for the construction of a high court.
The land in question, located near the state lodge and directly opposite the district administration block in Katungu Cell, Central Division, Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality, has been the subject of debate. Council members expressed concerns about the potential loss of the high court if the land was used, as the diocese possesses a valid land title for the same property.
Adinan Tumuhiirwe, a councilor from Kakanju Sub-County, raised the issue of technocrats encroaching on government-owned land due to the lack of official land titles. He emphasized the importance of the Bushenyi District local government taking a proactive stance on the matter to protect its land assets, preventing any potential loss during their tenure.
Bushenyi District Chairman Jafari Basajjabalaba clarified that the land’s ownership is still disputed. He stressed that the land belongs to the Bushenyi District local government, and efforts are underway to secure it for the construction of the High Court. He also highlighted the district’s commitment to identifying additional plots of land that could be allocated to the Judiciary.
To prevent further encroachment and disputes over land ownership, the lower local councils have been instructed to initiate the process of land titling for all district-owned lands. The lack of official land titles has left these lands vulnerable to encroachment.
In response to these claims, Bright Niwaha, the information officer of West Ankole Diocese, stated that the district is aware of the truth regarding the land matter. According to Niwaha, when they acquired the land, it fell under their land title, which solidifies their claim to the property.
John Nyakahuma, the newly appointed Chief Administration Officer of the district, pledged to address the issue by reviewing the district’s land registry to determine the actual number of lands in need of titling. He also expressed his intention to instruct the lower local councils to begin the titling process, recognizing its importance in safeguarding the district’s land assets.