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Parliament to debate overhaul of land law

By Moses Walubiri, Nicholas Wassajja

Added 27th February 2019 10:55 AM

Despite having been a perennial problem over the years, the issue of land evictions came to the fore late last year

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Despite having been a perennial problem over the years, the issue of land evictions came to the fore late last year

Land evictions and other attendant land wrangles have recently proved to be a major news staple despite Government’s efforts to stem the tide with the impending Justice Catherine Bamugemereire commission recommendations.

However, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has made a case for the legislature to be proactive by debating a motion aimed at being a precursor for the overhaul of the legal regime governing land transactions in the country.

Kadaga told the House during Tuesday’s plenary session that during her recent appearance on FM radio stations, the issue of land evictions was a major staple.

“Many Ugandans were calling asking what we can do to help them as a Parliament. I think we should debate a motion on possible amendments to the law,” Kadaga said.

Earlier, Paul Mwiru (Jinja Municipality East) had questioned the rationale of the current legal regime that allows landlords to sell their interests in land without a requirement to notify their tenants.

 aul wiru questioned the rationale of the current legal regime tory by ylvia atushabeMP Paul Mwiru questioned the rationale of the current legal regime. PHOTO by Sylvia Katushabe

 

To Mwiru, since tenants cannot sell their equitable interests in land without first notifying their landlords, the latter having the latitude to deal in their land as they please is partly responsible for the rampant evictions in the country.

Mwiru also chided district land boards for doling out land which is occupied by families, labelling their actions “illegal”

However, such an amendment restraining landlords from selling their land without first notifying tenants might be challenged in courts of law for being unconstitutional.

Article 26 of the Constitution recognises the right to own property and any law that seeks to curtail the freedom that comes with such ownership is bound to be challenged by landowners.

Despite having been a perennial problem over the years, the issue of land evictions came to the fore late last year when a private land developer evicted close to 300 families at Lusanja, Wakiso district. 

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