Uganda: Govt cancels land title for 7,530 hectares in Agago

Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo (2nd left) interacts with a landlord upon receiving his certificate at Kalongo Town Council in Agago District in January. PHOTO/TOBBIAS JOLLY OWINYThe Monitor | 26 April 2024

Govt cancels land title for 7,530 hectares in Agago

By Tobbias Jolly Owiny & Jesus Okello Ojara

The Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development has cancelled a title that had been dubiously issued for a block of land measuring 7,537 hectares in Agago District.

The cancellation of the title on Block 1, plot 11 in Karenga, followed a public outcry that it was illegally issued to two individuals; Mr Lucky Joseph Kidega and Mr David Ocan.

The piece of land belongs to the communities in Lapono, Paimol, and Omia Pachwa Sub-counties, according to local leaders.

The Daily Monitor also saw an April 18 internal memo from the office of the Commissioner of Land Registration that was addressed to the Permanent Secretary of the Lands ministry, terminating the title.

“The said certificate of title, which had been irregularly acquired by Lucky Joseph Kidega and Ocan David for land measuring 7,537.3415 hectares at Karenga on Agago Block 1 Plot 11, has been canceled by the office of titles upon issuance of notice to the affected parties and the conduct of a public hearing as provided for under Section 91 of the Land Act,” the memo stated.

“If the affected parties own land, they should be advised to apply afresh for allocation of the same from the responsible bodies following the proper procedure for the acquisition of title,”  it added.

The office of titles, according to the letter, learnt of the irregular Title in February after the district and community leaders complained against it [Title] during a public gathering on February 26, in Lapono Sub-county.

“During a public gathering of all technical and political heads of districts convened on February 26 by the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, the office of titles received a complaint from the district chairman of Agago that the above title was irregularly issued over the land of the communities in Lapono, Paimol, and Omia Pachwa Sub-County,” a source at the ministry said.

Mr Leonard Opio Ojok, the chairperson of Agago, said: “The issue of land crisis started around May 2021, immediately after the 2021 elections. I received community concerns that a group of people were putting markstones at the border between Lapono and Piamol sub-counties. The said people were moving in military vehicles.’’

In January, Lands minister Judith Nabakooba said the ministry had suspended a process to secure at least 9 square miles (5,750 acres) of land for Terra Agri Solutions Ltd, to establish a commercial farm in the same district.

She explained that her ministry’s action was aimed at mitigating possible fraud and land grabbing, following numerous complaints from the affected communities over the process.

Ms Nabakooba also admitted that her ministry received two complaints from land owners, who claimed that the investor was not interfacing with the rightful land owners and clan leaders.

“My ministry has for now ordered the investor to pull back and allow the Ministry of Lands, together with the district local governments, to take charge, identify the rightful land owners, survey and register the land,” she said.

President Museveni held a meeting with representatives of the investment firm Terra Agri Solutions Ltd, Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), and clan leaders from Lapono, Omiya Pacwa, and Orom in October 2023.

The investor seeks to rent customary land for commercial agriculture under a project known as the parish-to-market socio-economic transformation of the Acholi Sub-region. The project affects the sub-counties of Lapono, Omiya-Pacwa, Orom, Paimol, and Lira-Kato.

According to the document, up to 46 clans showed interest in renting land to the investor under the programme.
  • Who's involved?

    Whos Involved?


    Special content


    Latest posts