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Justice Bamugemereire Wants Amendment of Land Acquisition Act

Bamugemereire says that the law does not clearly define the person who has powers to acquire land compulsorily.
10 Apr 2019 16:37
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire on the left and teh leader of opposition on the right during the launch of the LASPNET report today Wednesday at Sheraton Kampala Hotel

Audio 3

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire has called for the amendment of the Land Acquisition Act of 1965. 

Bamugemereire says that the law does not clearly define the person who has powers to acquire land compulsorily.   

She gives an example of Tanzania where powers over land are vested in the President.

   

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The land acquisition Act gives the government power to take over private land without the willingness of the owner for purposes of public interest, public security and morality among other reasons.     

 

Bamugemereire who is also the Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters was on Wednesday speaking at Sheraton Hotel at the launch of a study “Situational analysis on Compulsory Land Acquisition Management in Uganda” conducted by Legal Aid Service Providers’ Network -LASPNET.    

Bamugemereire also adds that the law needs to explain what public interest to avoid conflict when land is compulsorily acquired on behalf of a private business person. 

The Executive Director LASPNET Sylvia Namubiru Mukasa also says that the current law does not provide for procedural rights during land acquisition.  

She says that the law should be amended to include rights to be heard, to appeal and prompt, prior and fair compensation before the state compulsory acquires people’s land.        

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The LASPNET study revealed a lack of comprehensive policy on valuation and compensation in Compulsory Land acquisition.        

The study also found that people were dissatisfied by the compensation process. They cited issues of delays and under compensation due to corruption. 

Namubiru says that further intervention is required to have clear standards to follow in compensation. She adds that the office of the chief government valuer should be properly established by law. Currently, the office operates under the Ministry of Lands.   

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Last month, the Minister of lands, housing and urban development announced that the government had amended the Land Acquisition Act of 1965 and introduced a Land Acquisition Tribunal. The tribunal will listen to valuation disputes from persons whose land has been valued by the chief government valuer before compulsorily taking over the land.

In 2017 government tabled in Parliament the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which provided for how the government could acquire disputed land for infrastructural development and investment projects.

The Bill sought to enable government, or a local government to deposit with the court, compensation awarded by the government for any property declared for compulsory acquisition.