The Physical Infrastructure Committee has since Monday 26th September 2016 been carrying out oversight visits to zonal offices of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. This is to ascertain the level of service delivery, and substantiate media reports about poor service delivery despite the decentralization of the Land Information System.
“The congestion and long hours of waiting to be served and get their land titles processed is a clear testimony that something is very wrong in Wakiso and Mukono Ministry zonal land offices,” the Physical Infrastructure Committee Chairperson, Eng. Denis Sabiiti (Rubanda West) said.
The Committee on Physical Infrastructure while inspecting the facilities at observed that despite the fact that the Wakiso office has the biggest volume of work, it is at the same time regarded by the public as the most corrupt in land title processing.
The committee however, applauded the Wakiso Office for the collection of non-tax revenue amounting to close to Ushs3billion every financial year.
Wakiso tops the list, country wide with 60 percent of all land transactions in the country and Mukono comes second both in revenue collection and bribery allegations.
The Committee noted that all the non-tax revenue collected at the zonal land offices is deposited on the consolidated account which leads to the officials working on the voluminous titles to ask for facilitation for titles to be processed.
The clients in Mukono and Wakiso who had come as early as 7:00am to check on the progress of their titles and who interacted with the Committee testified that offices are opened towards 10:00am and by midday, the general public is locked out.
This allegation was confirmed when Members of the Committee arrived at Wakiso offices at 8:30am on Tuesday, 27th September when most staff including the Principal had not arrived. On arrival however, they registered in the Attendance book as having arrived by 8:00am.
At the Wakiso offices, the waiting clients told the Committee that land office is not accessible to the public on Fridays.
“In Mukono, we also found out that the public cannot transact on Thursdays , while in Jinja, it is worse as Mondays and Fridays are closed to the public and on the rest of the days they close business by mid-day.” Hon. Sabiiti noted.
The Principal Land Management Officer in Wakiso, Mr. Satyaa Mangosho in his brief to the Committee said he has put in place a system where the public only interacts with the Customer Care staff so that the rest of the staff concentrate on their business.
Satyaa attributed the corruption allegations to the private surveyors who get a lot of money from their clients claiming to share it with officers working on the titles.
The Committee was disappointed to learn that despite the operationalization of Ministry Zonal Land Offices which are intended to bring services near the people, the situation is too decentralized and that corruption and recklessness has led to loss of a number of land titles.
A case in point is Ms. Eularia Nakiwala, a 60 year old Wakiso resident who, while interacting with the Committee as she waited for Wakiso Ministry Land Zonal Officers to work on her case, briefed the Members, of the disappearance of her land title at Wakiso district headquarters.
The visit to the Zonal Land Officers is part of the Committee’s work plan for the year.