The Bill has faced wide criticism with many saying its intended to grab people’s land.
PIC: Lands minister Betty Amongi (right) talks to Gilbert Keremundu, while appearing before the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament. (Credit: Kennedy Oryema)
PARLIAMENT | LAND MATTERS
KAMPALA - MPs on the Parliament's committee on legal and parliamentary affairs, have opposed the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2017, saying it is unnecessary.
Tabled before Parliament last month, the Bill seeks to amend Article 26 of the Constitution for compulsory acquisition of private land by the government before compensation, for government projects.
However according to the MPs, it is not necessary to amend the Constitution for the provision, but rather establishment of a lands tribunal to deal with land disputes and related matters which may affect government projects.
"Even where you surrender your land to government willingly, there is no will by government to compensate you, what is the guarantee that people will be compensated under this arrangement," Gaster Mugoya, the Bukhooli North MP asked.
The Busia Municipality MP Geoffrey Macho added; "This Bill is in bad faith to ruin our country and the ruling party NRM, as government you are supposed to advise Ugandans to own land."
The MPs were on Tuesday receiving a submission from the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Maj. Kahinda Otafiire who had appeared before the committee, alongside Betty Amongi, the Lands Minister, to the defend the proposed amendment.
Otafiire defended the Bill saying if passed into law, it would help government carry out its projects especially infrastructural projects, without delays which he said are caused by land disputes.
The Bill which is currently before the legal committee has faced wide criticism by members of the public including the civil society movement, as intended to grab people's property.