Museveni issues directive against illegal evictions
President Yoweri Museveni has issued new orders banning land evictions that are not sanctioned the respective District Security Committees. He has also asked the Chief Justice to prevail on judicial officers to stop colluding with land grabbers in illegal evictions.
In the directive that was shared with media by Judith Nabakooba, the Minister for Lands, Museveni says 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. “
Museveni further warns that all members of the District Security Committee will all be held responsible and action will be taken against them if his orders are not heeded and the illegal evictions go ahead. Only the representatives of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces will be spared because they “may not be in the know of the substance of the issues involved,” Museveni said.
In the same communication, the President requested 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 President also directed the Minister of Lands to inform the Attorney General about abuses by Judicial officers so that legal action can be taken against them.
Ms Nabakooba who has of late been traversing the country battling land grabbers said the President’s order was timely. She said despite the existence of laws against illegal evictions, these had been ignored turning life into a nightmare for the marginalized. She gave the example of the Land Act Section 92(1) (e) (as amended) and (5)(a) which provide for a punishment of 7 years or a fine of one million nine hundred and twenty thousand for anyone who participates in the eviction of a lawful or bonafide occupant.
“Illegal land evictions are happening everywhere and in all regions of the country and have turned life in the villages very difficult.
They target the poor, the voiceless, and the uneducated communities, disrupting their livelihoods and hampering Government programmes aimed at empowering the citizens. On several occasions, these evictions have destroyed property and led to loss of innocent lives,” she said.
Nabakooba added that the presidential directive would help reinforce compliance with existing laws.
“I want to call upon the District Security Committees to take note of the President’s directive. The District Security Committees must now adjust their terms of reference to include implementing the Presidential Directive. The District Security Committee must ensure no land eviction takes place especially on unregistered or land with tenants on it,’ Nabakooba said.