The Minister for Lands Betty Amongi has said that private valuers have slowed and stalled many government undertakings to due to their unscrupulous conducts.
Ms Amongi who was the guest of honour at the one-day Surveyors Registration Board workshop held on Wednesday at Hotel Africana acknowledged that overvaluation is hurting government projects.
“Sometime last year a private valuer from Kibaale valued an acre of land where the government planning to put a project at sh200m per acre which raised our eyebrows and went to the ground and discovered that actually the market price of an acre in that area was sh7m per acre and such unscrupulous valuers slow and consequently stall government projects and undertakings,” Amongi said.
She explained that unprofessional and unregistered surveyors are the source of most land disputes in the country and appealed to the surveyors’ registration board to ensure all surveyors in the country are registered and certified to avoid shoddy works.
“The other day I told the Commissioner for Land Registration in my ministry that his office was turning into a title cancellation office because currently, we receive more applications for title cancellation than applications for certificates of title and this due to the unprofessional work of unregistered and unscrupulous surveyors who have no reverence for gazetted and protected spaces like the wetlands, forest reserves and national parks among others,” Amongi stressed.
The workshop attracted local, regional and international surveyors with a theme; “The 21st Century Surveyors and the Surveying Profession: What Next?”.
Judy Rugasira Kyanda, the Chairperson of the Surveyors’ Registration Board noted that the board is currently working hard to ensure that the image of surveyors is improved in the public.
“Our image over the years has worsened due to works of mostly junior, unprofessional and unscrupulous surveyors and that is what my board is currently focused on to ensure we improve it and win back the public trust because we are big players in the land sector,” Rugasira said.
The President for the Institute of Surveyors Uganda Mr Richard Masereje noted that the institute is dedicated and focused on ensuring that the surveying profession is in order by having all the surveyors in the country registered to enable them monitor their works and conduct.
“It is quite sad that over 90% of surveyors in the country are unregistered and when they do shoddy and unprofessional job, it is hard to bring them to book,” said Masereje.
Report by Isaac Baligema in Kampala.