Issues of land must be settled according to the law of Uganda

Sunday 27th October 2013

State House Uganda - News

"Leader or No leader - All of you must respect the law in Uganda. Issues of land are run according to the law" -President Museveni states categorically as he addresses residents of Kinnamawanga in Kayunga, a leasehold that is subject of a dispute, this afternoon.

In picture, President Yoweri Museveni listens to Jjajja Christine Bukirwa luyombwa, widow of Mzee Luyombya, whose family owned 1146 acres of leasehold that is subject to a dispute, in Kinnamawanga, Kayunga district.

"The main issue I will deal with today is land matters. There are other issues raised by Hon. Nantaba, that is for another day. I concentrate on issues and handle them satisfactorily. That is how I work.

Issues of land are run according to the law of Uganda. You cannot work outside the law. We amended the land law because we could see that the old land law was oppressive to ordinary people. The land law as amended by us is clear on which categories of people you cannot evict from land. Even the law as provided for by the British in 1928 had handled although unsatisfactorily.

The following are the categories of people you cannot evict from land:
1. The first person is the one who is settled by the land lord.

2. The second is the one who bought the kibanja or the one who had been settled by the landlord or one who inherited from the landlord.

3. The third which was introduced by us (read NRM) and was not there before is, if you were not settled on the landlord but you've been there before 1983 and the landlord did not chase you, we take it that you are a bonafide occupant

4. The fourth category that does not apply to this dispute in Kinnamawanga is the one who is settled by Government.

5. The one who was staying on public land as a customary owner. He has a right and one has no right to evict him. If anybody wants to get a lease of such land, the land board is supposed to inspect and establish that there are no customary tenants before a lease is issued. For this category there is no time limit as to when one should have settled to be recognised as bonafide.

If you don't fall among the categories above, you are an illegal occupant. That is the law and that is what I will implement. I will not implement anything else. All of you, Leader or no leader, must respect the law; because you are going to bring instability in our country by dishonesty.

When I received all these complaints, I decided to take a few examples and studied them because I cannot be everywhere dealing with land matters. There are Courts of law to deal with that, and a Ministry of Lands.

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