By Our Reporters
Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba has presented a new law to cabinet dubbed ‘The Real Estate Bill’ to regulate the real estate business in Uganda .
She made the revelation while officiating at the 2nd National Housing Symposium which also marked the World Habitat Day celebrations at Mestil Hotel in Kampala .
“I presented it (Real Estate Bill) to cabinet and they approved its principles but tasked us to expound on our consultations and benchmarking in a few countries on how they are running their real estate services,” she stated . A team from the Ministry of Lands has since visited South Africa, India, and Kenya where they bench marked on how best the real estate business can be regulated to stem illegal transactions and fraud .
“They returned the bill for drafting in the ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and it is almost getting out of there. Once it comes back to the ministry, I will take it back to cabinet for further discussion and if they are satisfied with our consultations, then we would be good to go in parliament,” Nabakooba explained.
The bill, according to will help streamline the the real estate industry and guide on what is supposed to be in its administration. She said this will work for both the private and the public companies.
“It provides for how the industry should run, who should govern it, what are the parameters for it to operate. What we want is to make it more sustainable for the population but also to government because right now, real estate is not regulated,” she added.
Due to the absence of policies that regulate the real estate business, the minister said many people have set up companies that are posing a great challenge to the industry.
Nabakooba said the lands ministry is in negotiations with the ministry of Finance, Uganda Revenue, and the Kampala Capital City Authority to make sure that property rates are revised for housing to become favourable and people to be in position to pay for their assessed rates.
The the well attended symposium was organized to pave way for easy access to decent and affordable housing.
Mr Maurice Makoloo, the Africa area Vice President of Habitat for Humanity lauded the lands minister for the strong partnership government has with their organization.
“We are reflecting on the cities as drivers of economic growth. It is our responsibility for shaping the future of cities in regard to sustainable development. I therefore thank the government of Uganda for a good working relationship with the private companies to develop housing.”
Mr James Tanga Olwoch, a construction specialist at Habitat for Humanity showcased an innovation of a prototype house that was launched early this year.
“We know that most of the houses in Uganda are built using burnt bricks. And this means you need to first cut down trees to burn the bricks. These interlocking bricks use murram mixed with cement and sand and you don’t need to plaster your house,” he said.
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