KCCA approves new land board members amidst controversy

Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA has approved five members to the Kampala District Land Board amidst opposition from the acting Legal Affairs Director Caleb Mugisha.

The names of the appointed members from Uganda Law Society and all divisions of Kampala except for Nakawa were presented by the KCCA Executive Secretary Kennedy Okello to the council for approval.

But before deliberations on the names started, Mugisha told the council that a member of the public identified as Anatolia Byakola had secured a court injunction stopping any deliberations regarding the board until a suit whose details he did not provide is heard. He said any continued deliberations would be in contempt of court and that their resolutions shall be null and void.

However, members of the council ignored his counsel saying he had not presented the court documents before them. The speaker Abubaker Kawalya said the council cannot fail to do its job because of a court decision whose details were unknown to them.

Kawalya said there were many lawyers in town who like filing court cases to delay processes for selfish reasons and ruled that council continues with the approval process. Subsequently, the council approved members Teopista Ntale from Makindye Division, Christine Kyeyune from Lubaga, David Balondemu from Kampala Central, Nasser Basajjabalaba from Kawempe and Joseph Anguria from Uganda Law Society.

Members of Land Board serve for a renewable five-year term and as of April, the tenure of members like Basajjabalaba and Moses Kabega had expired, warranting new appointments. All members were approved without a vote except for incumbent Basajjabalaba who was competing for the position with lawyer David Birungi. Basajjabalaba won with 23 votes against 0 from his contender.

The Land Board includes five members with at least one-third female representation. Each of the counties or divisions must also be represented. As it stands, all divisions of Kampala are now represented except for Nakawa. In his representation, Okello said Nakawa Division Mayor Ronald Balimwezo had frustrated the process since be did not respond to their calls to suggest a name.

However, the Speaker of KCCA and the council gave the Executive Secretariat five days to nominate a candidate for the slot because it is not a requirement to have division mayors nominate members.

District Land Board is mandated to handle land issues in the district. The board can hold and allocate land in the district that does not belong to any person or authority, facilitate the registration and transfer of interests in land and make surveys, plans, maps, drawings and estimates among others.

Kampala District Land Board is headed by Yusuf Nsibambi whose tenure ends on September 18, 2020.