UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | On 28th February 2022, President Museveni issued a directive prohibiting all land evictions without the consent of the relevant District Security Committee, even if sanctioned by the court.
In his directive, the President made it clear that all evictions must be vetted through a structured process, and that no eviction should occur in any district without a District Security Committee meeting, chaired by the RDCs, in direct consultation with the Ministry of Lands.
As a result of the directive issued by the president four months ago intended at curbing illegal evictions, the execution of court orders on land evictions in the country has practically come to a standstill. Bailiffs are claiming that Resident District Commissioners are not clearing them.
According to Mr Crainmer Brandon, the General Secretary of the Bailiff Association, the new process is challenging for the litigants to implement.
“Our members take the court orders to the Legal Directorate at the Police Headquarters in Naguru. The people at Naguru are not interested in clearing them, yet the orders have durations,” Mr Brandon says.
Court bailiffs have confirmed that court orders of execution in land evictions have practically stopped.
Bonnie Rwamukaaga, the President of Bailiffs in East Africa, said that since the issuing of the presidential directives, the police officers and Resident District Commissioners who sit on the security committees haven’t cleared any evictions.
“It was just hot air. The police officers are avoiding court bailiffs. They fear clearing the court orders. Many orders and warrants have been taken to Naguru but the police officers aren’t clearing them,” Mr Rwamukaaga said.
He accused the police and Residential District Commissioner’s actions of being in total disobedience of the laws of Uganda.
Prior to the President’s directive in February for land eviction court orders to be cleared by the District Security Committee, court orders were verified by police Legal Services Directorate, who then forwarded the orders to the Land Unit in the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
This procedure started in July 2009, after president Museveni arrested police officers at Nateete police station, accusing them of conniving with landlords to evict tenants at night without following the court order.
It is since then, bailiffs had been submitting court orders to the police legal services directorate, which would verify them and determine whether to or not forward them to the land unit in the Directorate of Criminal Investigations for officers to witness execution.
However all this changed with the President’s new directive, in which the President made it clear that all evictions must be vetted through a new structured process, where no eviction should take place in any district without a District Security Committee meeting, chaired by the RDCs, in direct consultation with the Ministry of Lands.
The President warned that if evictions do take place without a District Security Committee meeting, he will take action on all the Members of the District Security Committee.
The President also issued a stark warning to Magistrates and Judges who violate the Constitution by illegally evicting people in collusion with land grabbers, requesting His Lordship the Chief Justice to prevail over any such Judicial officers.
The President further directed the Minister of Lands to inform the Attorney General of any abuses by Judicial officers, with a view that legal action be taken against them.
Since then, it seems all court sanctioned land evictions have come to a grinding halt.
Call 0 800 100 004 to report cases of illegal Land evictions, incidents of corruption and bribery; delayed land transactions, general poor service delivery and absenteeism within the Lands Ministry.
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