Masaka City Stakeholders Committee has resolved to call the former Masaka Municipal Council leaders to help trace the whereabouts of several missing properties and land titles.
The City Stakeholders Committee resolved this after realizing that several land titles including those of key public properties went missing under unclear circumstances.
The decision to recall the past leaders was arrived at during a stakeholders meeting attended by the heads of technical departments, the Executive Committee members, the City division chairpersons, the Resident City Commissioners, and the area Members of Parliament, who convened to analyze the inventory of Masaka City properties.
According to the inventory presented by the Acting Masaka City Principal Treasurer, Harriet Nakafeero, the city has 35 known properties that include pieces of land and buildings several of which, lack certificates of ownership.
Some of the key properties whose land titles cannot be traced include the Mayor’s Chambers, Public Health and Education department offices, Nyendo public market, children’s park, Masaka City public library and resource centers, and Masaka Taxi park.
The others are the City dumping site, which was procured in 2015, the City mortuary, Lions Children’s park, former offices of Nyendo-Ssenyange division, part of Kyabakuza Health Centre II, Gayaza and Kkumbu community playgrounds, Kkumbu housing estate among others.
According to Nakafeero some of the land titles are only in photocopies while several others can’t be traced completely and are currently occupied by private individuals who claim to have lawfully obtained them from the former Municipal council leaders.
She also presented to the committee a sales agreement for part of the land hosting Kyabakuza Health Center II, which the former Kimanya-Kyabakuza division LC 3 chairperson, Matia Kakooza witnessed.
Florence Namayanja, the Masaka City Mayor, told the committee that many of the city properties were unscrupulously lost during the transitioning period from a Municipality to City status between 2019 and 2021.
She says that even in the handover report she received while assuming office in May last year, the inventory of the city properties was not attached, which raised her suspicion.
According to Namayanja, her office has received several notices of people intending to occupy public properties claiming that they obtained them from the Municipal council leaders.
Masaka City stakeholders’ committee chaired by the Kimanya-Kabonera MP Dr. Abed Bwanika, has unanimously resolved to trace backward by summoning the former leaders to account for the missing public assets.
Bwanika indicates they intend to summon both the political leaders and technocrats who formerly held offices in Masaka Municipal council to account for the missing properties.
The committee has assigned the City Land Board to lead an inquiry into all the transactions and allocation conducted on former public properties in Masaka, as well as leading a process for their recovery.
Tonny Ssempijja, the Masaka City Council Speaker has however doubted the authenticity of the land titles for properties indicated in the inventory and wants the City Land Board to conduct verification of the available certificates.
While handing over the office in May 2021 to his successor, Godfrey Kayemba Afaayo, the former Masaka City Mayor indicated that he had left behind 88 land titles in the names of Masaka Municipal Council.
He however indicated that some of the Municipal properties had been attached by different people who defeated the council in court cases and were awarded costs.