LANDS MINISTER NABAKOOBA ISSUES GUIDELINES TO IMPLEMENT PRESIDENT MUSEVENI’S DIRECTIVE STOPPING LAND EVICTIONS

By Our Reporters

Minister of Lands Ms. Judith Nabakooba has called upon the RDCs and the District Security Committees to adjust their terms of reference to include implementing President Yoweri Museveni’s recent directive stopping land evictions across the country .

“The District Security Committee must ensure no land eviction takes place especially on unregistered or land with tenants on it,” Nabakooba stated in new guidelines meant to facilitate the implementation of the presidential directive .

The minister said that the RDCs must monitor, inspect and report on a monthly basis the land acquired by large scale land investors in order to ensure that land being taken over is not occupied by tenants or customary land owners.

The RDCs must also report to the Ministry of Lands on any divergence from or noncompliance with government policies, laws and Presidential directives on land evictions.

“Evictions from critical ecological systems, forest reserves and wetlands shall be handled as per cabinet directives. The law provides for a period of 6 months and so measures should be put in place not to cause distress, but move out gradually under proper supervision.

“I call upon the RDCs to be vigilant and give me evidence based information on all eviction related matters,” Nabakooba said adding that everyone who feels they are being violated or threatened to reach out to their local leaders for protection against “destroying your livelihoods and causing landlessness in this country.”

Background

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni early this month banned all land evictions in the country that are carried out without the consent of the respective District Security Committees (DSC).

The tough directive was communicated in a letter dated February 28, 2022 and addressed to the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja. Museveni said that he was using his powers under Article 98(1) and 99(1) of the Constitution that enjoins him to ensure good governance and protect the Constitution.

Museveni directed thus :“No eviction should be allowed to take place in a district without the consent and direct observation of the District Security Committee (DSC), chaired by the Resident District Commissioners/Resident City Commissioners (RDCs/RCCs) and direct consultation with the Minister of Lands. “

The President further stated that if this is not done and the illegal evictions go ahead, the members of the District Security Committee will all be held responsible and action will be taken against them. This however excludes the UPDF representatives who may not be in the know of the substance of the issues involved. 

In the same communication, the President requested His Lordship the Chief Justice to prevail upon the Justices and Magistrates who violate the Constitution by illegally evicting people in collusion with land grabbers. He further directed the Minister of Lands to inform the Attorney General about such abuses by judicial officers so that legal action can be taken against them.

The Minister of Lands Nabakooba who has of late been traversing the country battling land grabbers who are evicting Ugandans -has since welcomed the presidential directive .

“I thank HE @KagutaMuseveni for this important directive stopping all illegal evictions. I call upon members on the District Security Committee to rise to the occasion and restore peace and trust among our people. We all have a right to a place we call home,” Nabakooba stated in a tweet.

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