Parliament set to approve UGX 12 Bn for Lusanja and Ndeeba Church land Businessmen.

By Edwin Muhumuza

Government has asked the parliamentary budget committee to approve a UGX 12 billion supplementary budget for land disputes.

Part of the money will be to pay off businessman Medard Kiconco , the lawful owner of the contested Lusanja land ,and another UGX 3.8 Bn to buy land accommodating the St. Peter’s Church in Ndeeba that was demolished last year.

The committee has also agreed to compensate Buganda Kingdom tenants in Bunyoro who currently occupy the lost counties and others in Ankole region to a tune of UGX 8Bn shillings.

This was revealed by the Minister for Lands, Beti Kamya while appearing before the committee chaired by Kachumbala county MP Patrick Isiagi.

“The biggest problem in the raging land issues especially brutal land evictions is mainly because of people selling titled land to third parties and third parties getting eviction orders from court and evicting bona fide or historical tenants.” Kamya said.

A study by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the Uganda Round Table Foundation in 2019 noted that despite progress made to address land-related legislative issues, the land sector in Uganda faces several challenges that include insecurity of tenure, overlapping and conflicting land rights, and glaring inequity in access to and ownership of land.

In view of that, the government and other stakeholders are proposing to amend the law which will put a higher burden on the purchaser of land to prove that they have done adequate due diligence that the land they intend to buy is encumbrance free.

According to the lands minister, it will no longer be enough to obtain a search report from the system but rather to go to the land, and ensure there are no encumbrances, sit with the family and agree with written minutes and resolutions in a meeting before one can get land transferred to their names.

Concerning the Lusanja land, the government decided to buy the land and keep the people on it and the chief government valuer, valued it at more than UGX 3.8bn as well as the Ndeeba church at more than UGX 3.8 Billion

Additionally, the land money will be paid to the Uganda land fund to be paid to individuals who ceded their land to the government to buy, said Kamya.

Lusanja residents were wrongly evicted

By Alice Lubwama

Government has confirmed that the residents of Lusanja were illegally evicted by one businessman Medard Kiconco.

In his statement before parliament, the attorney general William Byaruhanga confirmed that the residents were illegally evicted and the judicial service commission has started disciplinary action against the chief magistrate Esther Nasambu and court registrar Rwatoro Baker for issuing an order that led to illegal eviction of residents of Lusanja.

The attorney general also said that the investigations discovered that the magistrate took a decision on the case without defenders filing a defense, declaring them as trespassers and ordering for demolition of their structures as wanted by Kiconco.

The investigations further found that the chief magistrate Esther Nasambu handled the case without visiting the site and lacked jurisdiction to handle the matter among others.

The judicial service commission has now preferred three charges against Nasambu among being conduct prejudicial to the good image of service, producing poor standard work and unsatisfactory performance of duty.

The attorney also said that the judiciary was still investigating the court bailiff Moses Kirunda who carried out the eviction adding that the case has been taken to the land division of the high court to seek justice.

The judiciary through their spokesperson also confirmed that the court order had been issued for the people of Sekayonyi zone in Mperererwe and not Lusanja.

However the Members of Parliament demanded that the police and other officers involved in the illegal eviction should also be punished and the people of Lusanja receive compensation.

This prompted the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga to select a five member committee to draft a motion on how the residents in Lusanja who were illegally evicted should be compensated by government.