UNRA stuck with over 2000 lands titles for the Project affected persons

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UNRA stuck with over 2000 lands titles for the Project affected persons
Soroti-Akasim road constructed by UNRA

Over 2,000 land titles for people impacted by road projects remain unresolved, posing a significant hurdle for the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA). This revelation came during a parliamentary committee meeting on Wednesday, where UNRA officials discussed challenges with compensating project-affected persons.

UNRA's Executive Director, Irene Kagina, explained the reasons behind the backlog. Some landowners sadly passed away after submitting their land titles for processing. In other cases, titles face legal complexities due to internal family disputes about rightful ownership. Additionally, some titles have encumbrances, like restrictions on ownership, that haven't been clarified.

These unresolved titles prevent UNRA from distributing compensation, causing delays and frustration for affected individuals. To address these issues, the Ministry of Lands, led by Minister Judith Nabakooba, is proposing amendments to the Land Acquisition Act.

"We are repackaging amendments that were previously rejected by Parliament four years ago," revealed State Minister for Lands, Sam Mayanja. "Once finalized, these amendments will be presented to the Cabinet and then Parliament for approval." The aim is to streamline the compensation process and provide clearer guidelines for handling situations like those encountered by UNRA.

The committee meeting also addressed the progress of the Kampala-Jinja Expressway, a major public-private partnership (PPP) project. Here, the challenge lies in securing financial assurances from the government to attract potential contractors.

"The bidders require a guarantee on recouping their investment," explained Ms. Kagina. "All necessary paperwork is prepared, and we await clearance from the Ministry of Finance." UNRA is optimistic that construction can commence by December 2024 if the government provides the necessary financial assurances.

Resolving the land title issues and securing financing for the Kampala-Jinja Expressway are crucial steps towards smoother implementation of road projects in Uganda. These efforts will hopefully lead to faster compensation for affected individuals and the timely completion of critical infrastructure.

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