Justice Zeija described the acts by families encroaching and claiming public institutions’ land given by grandparents as a common phenomenon that needs to be curtailed forthwith. (Robert Adiga)
Robert Adiga
Journalist @New Vision

COURT | LAND | GRABBING 

ARUA - The principal judge, Dr. Flavian Zeija, has advised the civil and other courts to quickly prevail over cases involving encroachments on Public Institutions’ land.

Presiding over Arua High Court Open Day on Tuesday (September 27), Justice Zeija described the acts by families encroaching and claiming public institutions’ land given by grandparents as a common phenomenon that needs to be curtailed forthwith.

He challenged the judicial officers not to entertain the practice he described as ‘nonsense’ under their jurisdictions.

Dr. Zeija said the children and grandchildren do not have absolute rights on the property of their father emphasizing that there is no provision in law that allows children and grandchildren to out rightly inherit the property of their parents /grandparents if not included in the will.

He added that they are registering many cases where children acquire letters of administration to reclaim properties bought or given out long ago not knowing that the law also provides for a limitation period.

“It is the role of courts to ensure that we stop this nonsense because if my father gave land to construct a mosque or church 20 years ago, who are you to come 20 years later to say that, my father did wrong to give the land, people think that you are entitled to your father's property, there is no law like that, look for your and even I can make a will and decide to give all my property to the people outside disinheriting my children, so this nonsense must stop”, said Zeija.

In the last three years, the Auditor General in his report has expressed worrying concern at the rate at which government land is being lost to encroachers with little or no concern from the respective government entities.

The most affected institutions are schools, colleges, churches, and Mosques, among others.

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