- The President’s directive comes nearly a year after the chairperson of the Kampala District Land Board, Mr David Balondemu, wrote to him seeking his direction after the commissioner of land registration refused to cancel the market’s land title on the board’s orders
President Museveni has ordered the cancellation of the land title of St. Balikuddembe (Owino) market in Kampala.
In a July 4 letter to the Minister of Lands, Ms Judith Nabakooba, Mr Museveni argued that market land is communal and cannot be claimed by individuals.
“Markets are a nursery to our low-income business beginners. They should operate there cheaply and when they are richer, they move out to more expensive operational bases. When you privatise it to the current traders what happens to future generations?’’ the President wrote.
The President’s directive comes nearly a year after the chairperson of the Kampala District Land Board, Mr David Balondemu, wrote to him seeking his direction after the commissioner of land registration refused to cancel the market’s land title on the board’s orders.
“There is no viable explanation why the title in the name of SSLOA (Stalls, Space and Lock up Owner’s Association) has not been cancelled,’’ Mr Balondemu wrote in the October 21, 2021 letter.
The land title was issued on October 14, 2014.
He added that the board had resolved that the land title would be reverted to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) as part of the President’s October 2018 order that all public markets be managed by the government as opposed to vendors.
This followed the board’s revocation of the lease of the market. The lease was issued on August 1, 2014, to SSLOA.
The 10-year lease could be extended to 99 years if SSLOA redeveloped the market within the initial lease period.
In an interview with this publication yesterday, Mr Balondemu accused SSLOA of breach of lease conditions.
In his letter, Mr. Museveni said it was fortunate that SSLOA had failed to implement the conditions of the lease and the Dr Balondemu-led board had recognised his “policy position”.
“However, somebody going by the title of commissioner land registration, has refused to hand back the title. I hereby direct you to rescue this title immediately and inform me. I thank and commend those who brought all this information to my attention,” Mr Museveni signed off.
Efforts to reach the Attorney General, Mr. Kiryorwa Kiwanuka, for a comment were futile as he did not answer our repeated calls and messages by press time.