KAMPALA – Lawmakers on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) have learnt that Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is battling a total of 13 court cases for delayed return of land titles to their rightful Project Affected Persons (PAPs).
The revelation was made during a meeting held between the Committee and officials from UNRA officials led by the Executive Director, Allen Kagina who had appeared before the committee to respond to a number of audit queries as highlighted in the 2017/2018 Audit Report.
According to the Audit report, records at the UNRA land compensation office revealed that since 2014, approximately only 222 titles had been returned to PAPs out of over 4,319 titles collected.
The Auditor-General noted that of the 4097 unreturned titles, 169 titles had gone through the mutation process though not returned to PAPs yet some of the roads were completed years back and are in use.
The legislators on the committee noted that there is a potential risk that some of the land titles initially surrendered to UNRA might be untraceable and title owners may drag UNRA to court for the business opportunities foregone by denying them access to funds from commercial banks against such titles as collateral security.
Kira Municipality’s Ibrahim Ssemujju asked, “Tell us when you think these titles would be returned?”
William Matovu, Head of Land Acquisition at UNRA said that the delay in return of land titles has seen UNRA dragged to court with lawsuits now totalling to 13 cases with the Authority having returned only 1,118 land titles of 5,258 land titles in their in possession, “We anticipate that within twelve months, we shall have returned that,” said Matovu.
He also said that a total of 293 land titles are ready to be returned to their rightful owners adding that the authority anticipates that within 12 months they shall have returned the remaining titles due to a number of measures that have been put in place.
They blamed it on the slow process at the different land offices to which these titles are submitted.