UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | The new Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Judith Nabakooba, told Ugandans to stop land evictions during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
According to Nabakooba, it is not acceptable to evict people since courts of law are not fully operational during the lockdown. During the press conference at the land ministry headquarters on the 18th of this month, the minister said that the public has nowhere to report.
“I, therefore, want to direct as follows; no tenant by occupancy should be evicted from their bibanja or the land they are in possession of during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Any forceful engagements and /or impending evictions should be reported to the nearest Police Station, Office of RDC and Courts of Law to verify the authenticity of the orders and avert the destruction of life and property,” Minister Nabakooba stated.
Nabakooba explained that, in case landlords choose to sell land to a different person and not the old tenants during this COVID-19 lockdown, it should not affect the rights of the existing tenants.
“The old Landlord shall take the responsibility of introducing the new Landlord to the tenants for purposes of paying him/her busuulu, after the COVID-19 lockdown period is lifted,” Nabakooba said.
Minister Nabakooba’s directives come when the public is complaining of increased illegal evictions in Mukono, Mpigi, Nakasongola, Mubende, Kassanda, Buikwe, Wakiso, Sembabule, Hoima, Kagadi, Nebbi, Dokolo, Sheema and Mbale, among others.
Nabakooba directed the district Security Committees headed by the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) to help lawful and bonafide occupants.
”District Security Committees chaired by respective Resident District Commissioners/ Resident City Commissioners are directed to assist lawful and bonafide occupants in remaining and enjoying possession of their bibanja land during the COVID-19 lockdown period.” Nabakooba’s directive to the RDCs.
The interim measures, Nabakooba said, shall remain in place throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. These measures will ensure the rights of both the landlords and tenants on registered land and customary landowners on unregistered land are observed.
According to Minister Nabakooba, on 1st August, the Ministry is launching a Toll-Free line for the public to report any case of illegal evictions and threats.
Nabakooba further revealed to the press that because of internal COVID-19 prevention systems, her ministry has decided to re-open the zonal land offices across the country. Since 15th July 2021, the offices have been operating.
“Part of these directives mandate all government institutions to maintain 10% capacity of Human Resource. In line with the above, we will expect staff at all zonal offices to work on rotation in line with the sequence of the work to ensure timely completion of land transactions,” Nabakooba told the press.
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