BUNYORO leaders have disagreed with the state minister for lands, Dr. Kasirivu Atwooki, on the Land Amendment Bill. During a consultative meeting at Kolping Hotel in Hoima town at the weekend, Kasirivu said the Bill says magistrates should physically inspect the land under contention to ascertain the true owner before issuing an eviction order.
He noted that many people had been illegally evicted after losing cases because the magistrates did not have the right information.
The Bill would penalise magistrates, court bailiffs and Police officers who connive with criminals to illegally evict people after receiving bribes, explained Kasirivu, who is a former MP in Kibaale district.
However, Masindi district chairman Steven Birija said the courts should not handle land wrangles.
â€œYou are saying magistrates will go to the ground, but my experience has taught me that Ugandan courts are for the rich and Government officials.â€
Birija lamented that he had sent letters to Kasirivu reporting the people who had illegally evicted residents in Masindi but he had done nothing.
Bulisa district chairman Fred Lukumu suggested that the Bill was forcing the people to trust the Judiciary that had been rated among the top bribe takers.
He said he did not trust the court system because it had prolonged the case to evict the pastoralists (Balaalo) â€œyet they entered the district illegallyâ€.
â€œWe have no faith in these so-called learned men. The Balaalo would have left Buliisa long ago if it were not for them.â€
Using the courts to resolve land disputes would increase the already huge backlog of cases, observed Tom Muhe, the councillor for Kyangwali sub-county.
But Kasirivu insisted that the courts should resolve land disputes. â€œNot everybody in the judiciary is corrupt. We only need to improve their efficiency and curb corruption.â€
Leaders clash over Land Bill