Minister intervenes in Jinja hospital, Muslim cemetery land row

Minister intervenes in Jinja hospital, Muslim cemetery land row
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The State Minister for Lands, Sam Mayanja, has intervened in the long standing dispute between Jinja Regional Referral Hospital and Uganda Muslim Supreme Council over ownership of Jinja Muslim Cemetery land.

The intervention comes after the hospital administrators allegedlt connived with some officials at former Jinja District Land Board to allow some individuals to divide part of the cemetery land into several plots and secured land titles on it.

Minister Mayanja's directives have brought a sigh of relief among the Muslim Community in Jinja who were blocked from accessing part of the land.

The minister, who visited the contested land, ordered for the cancellation all land titles on this land since they were issued illegally.

"I have proclaimed the fact that this land belongs to the Muslim community and I have therefore directed the Uganda Land Commission to proceed and immediately get a title for them," he said.

Since the land needs surveying, the minister promised to write a letter to the department of surveying and mapping in his ministry to survey the land and everything required to ensure the muslims take up ownership of this land.

He promised to help the Muslim community with the paperwork to ensure they repossess their land under the law

The minister added that the 1967 constitution put all the public land in Uganda Land commission, 1969 provided that all the occupants of public land get tittles, the current constitution decentralized land control from Uganda Land Commission

"Section 59 1(a) of the land Act stipulates that when the public land is occupied, its not available for distribution by the Land Board or the Uganda Land Commission," Mayanja said.

"It's only those people on that land who can apply and obtain a freehold  title because they're already there in perpetuity so they can apply for a lease which has a limited period, but here the muslims already have a minute from Uganda Lamd Commission allowing them to get a land title but they're just being intimidated."

Muhammad Lubega at the disputed cemetery land.

The minister said he had gone through the 1920 land Act, and the 1962 Constitution where public land was put under three organisation including the District Land Boards, Kingdom Land Boards and Uganda Land Commission

Minister Mayanja, who first met both parties including the leadership of Jinja Hospital and the Muslim community, noted that muslims have been using this Cemetery since 1920s hence they're the bonafide owners.

The 10 acre piece of land hosts a cemetery and the remaining part was divided into several plots which  Mayanja ordered for their cancellation since they were issued illegally.

The Chairman of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, Muhammad Lubega, applauded the Minister for his intervention to solve this long standing dispute which dettered muslims from using the land

"Since it is a prime land we shall develop it," he said.

"We were failed by the encroacher who have been blocking us from using this lwne but since the minister has helped us reposses it we shall develop it."

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