What should be included in the new “Certificate of Title of Customary Ownership (COTO)” mandated under The 2013 Uganda National Land Policy (NLP)? Apr 2017

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Uganda’s new National Land Policy (NLP), approved in 2013, brought an overdue and much needed change for the recognition and support of Customary land tenure in Uganda.
Amongst other changes, the NLP recognized Customary land tenure and indicated that a new “Certificate of Title of Customary Ownership” based on customary land registry would confer rights equivalent to Freehold land tenure.

This information leaflet has therefore been prepared on the request of the Policy Division of the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development (MLHUD) to examine and propose what form the Customary land title, to be called a “Certificate of Title of Customary Ownership (COTO)” should take. The information is derived from our organizations’ (Land & Equity Movement of Uganda, or LEMU’s understanding of Customary land tenure practices in Acholi, Bunyoro, Lango, Teso, and West Nile districts, as derived (with input from clan leaders/councils) specifically from the customary laws of each area.

The Customary land tenure practices have been recorded in publications on behalf of clans and their land customs in “Principles, Practices, Rights and Responsibilities” (PPRR) for each Customary land tenure system within the traditional institutions of these areas.

The information was also derived from a workshop of members of the Teso Customary Land Rights Advocates (TECLARA) held in June 2016.