Residents on Buganda kingdom land have welcomed the initiative by Buganda Land Board (BLB) of inviting all tenants to come and ensure that their land-registration documents are in order.
Dubbed the Client Interface Month, the initiative is aimed at harmonizing bibanja and lease ownership on Buganda kingdom land. According to Geoffrey Muddu, a resident of Nabweru in Nansana, this is a timely initiative especially when some people have resurrected the idea of abolishing mailo land.
“I think the Kabaka is the only landlord in Uganda who openly invites tenants to try to know them. In a country where there are many uncertainties concerning land, I think everyone with a kibanja on Buganda land should take advantage of this initiative,” Muddu said at BLB offices at Nakkuule in Nansana.
“I have a kibanja, I registered it with Buganda Land Board and I pay busuulu every year. That is what every responsible person should do.”
According to Olivia Cox Namaganda, the program coordinator, the month-long exercise is meant to strengthen the relationship between the Kabaka and tenants on Buganda kingdom land.
“We are inviting people to come and see if their kibanja is registered with us. If it is not registered, then we will register them. We have a wide range of professionals such as surveyors, lawyers, physical planners, land valuers, etc who will be available to answer any queries,” she said.
Namaganda says that many people have bibanja on Kabaka’s land but are not sure of the acreage or value of this land.
“We also have some people on our database who registered their bibanja but were not able to present some important documents such as the national ID number which is now a requirement for any transaction to happen. They should all come,” she said.
The initiative is starting with Kampala and Wakiso areas and people can access services at BLB branches such as the one found in Katwe Muganzirwazza, Ndejje-Lufuka, Nansana-Nakkuule, Kasangati, Masuuliita and Kakiri. Meanwhile, Jane Nakandi, a resident of Kasangati, was more upbeat about the decentralization of issuance of land electronic cards.
The land electronic card is an equivalent to an ATM where all land documents are stored and the only access to this card is through the fingerprints of the registered owner. Previously, these cards were being issued at the BLB headquarters in Mengo but during this interface, cards are going to be issued at branch level.
Recently, the Land division of the High court ruled that any transaction that happens on a kibanja without the consent of the landlord is void and perpetrators face a four-year jail time or a fine of Shs 1.92m or both.
But Namaganda says the Kabaka of Buganda is a very accommodative landlord who comes up with different avenues where tenants can comfortably meet their obligations.
“Buganda Land Board has nine branches and seven service centres across the kingdom that are open every day. This presents an opportunity for people on Kabaka’s land to seek our services and secure their tenancy,” she said.