Govt warns LCs against charging stamp fees

The Minister for Local Government, Hon Raphael Magyezi speaking to Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) at a meeting in Kampala on February 23, 2024.

Kampala, (UG):- The Minister for Local Government, Hon Raphael Magyezi has warned local councillors (LCs) against charging fees for using stamps in land transactions.

Mr Magyezi while speaking at a quarterly meeting of chief administrative officers (CAOs) and town clerks of cities and municipalities in Kampala last Friday said some LCs are charging as high as 10 per cent on each land transition yet there is no law backing the charges for using their stamps.

“You buy a piece of land and an LC says for me to use my stamp, I need 10 per cent. Now, 10 per cent of Shs200m is Shs20m. If there is an administrative unit collecting Shs20m in one transaction, that is a very serious matter,” Mr Magyezi warned.

The Minister said LCs receive official stamps from the government with security features and should not charge any money when one needs a stamp endorsement. Should any district want to introduce a tax or fee, he said they should formally write to his ministry as provided for in the Local Government Act.

Mr Magyezi at the same function warned cultural institutions against any unlawful evictions of Local Government administrative units. He said this violates the memorandum of understanding signed between the cultural institutions and the Central Government.

The Minister told CAOs that he has received reports from some local governments that some cultural leaders are forcing them out whereas others are giving them ultimatums to vacate.

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“We have put a lot of developments on this land, a lot of buildings and offices. If you are truly from a cultural institution, why can’t you come back to the Ministry of Local Government; it is here, and we talk. We then enter an agreement to rent or compensate,” Mr Magyezi said.

Mr Ben Kumumanya, the permanent secretary of Ministry of Local Government, asked the CAOs and town clerks to ensure accountability and provide answers and clearly show what they were able to do.

“When the Auditor General is doing his work, he shows the bad things that have happened in your docket, why don’t you tell us the good things which you have done? No one will talk about them if you don’t,” he said.

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Mr Kumumanya challenged the CAOs and town clerks to publicise government programmes and projects, including markets under the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme; schools and health centres under the Uganda Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers Programme; and the Parish Development Model.

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