Church of Uganda embarks on mass land registration

The meeting was held at Namirembe Provincial Secretariat on June 21, 2024, attracting all 39 dioceses of the Church of Uganda.

KAMPALA, June 24, 2024 – A team from the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development [MLHUD], led by minister Judith Nabakooba, has met with the Ugandan Anglican Church leaders to lay out strategies for the registration of all Church land in Uganda, after the government announced in March that it would embark on the exercise.

The meeting was held at Namirembe Provincial Secretariat on June 21, 2024, attracting all 39 dioceses of the Church of Uganda, and aimed at training church leaders on land management and protection.

Nabakooba called for quick timeliness in registering Church land to ensure that the clerical has accurate land titles. She also called for productive usage of the land.

“We have received a number of cases about land grabbers and encroachers on Church land. In most cases, there is no evidence that the land belongs to the Church. The only evidence we need is the land title and that’s why we are here to support you in the registration process,” the minister said.

The Acting Provincial Secretary, Balaam Muheebwa commended government for their support towards the Church of Uganda especially in the land registration process.

“On behalf of the Church of Uganda, I thank the government of Uganda especially the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development for supporting us in the land registration with technical expertise and all the relevant literature on the same. We are committed to conducting this exercise in record time,” Muheebwa said.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Church Commissioners Holding Company Ltd, Rev Jasper Mpirirwe Tumuhimbise commended the government for supporting the Church to clear Church House debt. According to Rev Tumuhimbise, the compensations from government usage of Church land in different areas helped greatly in paying off the debt on Church House in Kampala which hosts the headquarters of Equity Bank Uganda.

The launch of the mass land registration follows a meeting between the Nabakooba and the House of Bishops at  Lweza Training and Conference Centre early this year.

The resolutions from the same meeting were sent to the Provincial Assembly Standing Committee [PASC] from which an adhoc committee was selected chaired by Bishop James William Ssebaggala to coordinate the partnership between Church of Uganda and the government to have the land registration process effected.

The Church of Uganda is a member province of the Anglican Communion. Currently there are 37 dioceses which make up the Church of Uganda, each headed by a bishop.

Each diocese is divided into archdeaconries, each headed by a senior priest known as an archdeacon. The archdeaconries are further subdivided into parishes, headed by a parish priest. Parishes are subdivided into sub-parishes, headed by lay readers. . Each of these units own some land.

As of the 2014 census, 32 percent of Ugandans or 10,941,268 people consider themselves affiliated with the church, down from 36.7 percent at the 2002 census.

According to a peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Anglican Studies published in 2016 by the Cambridge University Press, the Church of Uganda has more than 8 million members and approximately 795,000 active baptised members

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