Undeveloped city land will not get a new lease of life

A deserted section of Luwum Street in Kampala during the first lockdown last year. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • Reference was made of the ongoing wrangle Bat Valley land wrangle where the lessee is alleged to have engaged in land hoarding for 21 years. 

The Kampala District Land Board (KDLB) has said it will not renew leases on undeveloped land in the capital.
The board chairperson, Mr David Balondemu, told Daily Monitor yesterday that the decision was taken after discovering that most lessees hoard land for years. 

He added that the practice of hoarding not only breaches the terms and conditions of the lease, but also violates the city development standards.

“If we lease out land to someone for a specific period of time but, [they don’t] give any substantial reason for failure to develop it, we have the right to take it back since we are custodians of public land,” said Mr Balondemu.

He explained that Section 241 of the Constitution empowers the district land board to act in that manner.

According to Article 241(2) of the Constitution, a district land board shall be independent of the Uganda Land Commission and shall not be subject to the directives of any person or authority, but shall take in account the national and district council policy on land.

Mr Balondemu said  the board is mindful of the fact that it can give an allowance of more years when the lessee fails to develop land as stipulated in the lease. 

He, however, noted with dismay that most lessees hoard land for more than10 years without developing it. 
What makes this unacceptable, Mr Balondemu added, is the fact that there are many potential developers looking for land. 

Reference was made of the ongoing wrangle Bat Valley land wrangle where the lessee is alleged to have engaged in land hoarding for 21 years. 

Mr Balondemu also said  city land is being hoarded by so-called ‘big shots’ who use their contacts to breach lease agreements.

“All those whom land has been leased to should redevelop it and if they can’t do so then they should return it to the board so that we can find another developer,” he said, adding, “Alternatively they can get partners to develop the land if at all they don’t have resources otherwise we are very serious on that matter.’’

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