President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has banned all land evictions in the country that are carried out without the consent of the Resident City/District Commissioners.
In a statement issued by the presidential deputy spokesperson Faruk Kirunda, Museveni said the District Security Committees (DSC) which are headed by RDCs/RCCs must be informed and then agree for any eviction to be carried out.
“In a letter dated February 28, 2022, addressed to the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, and using his powers under Article 98(1) and 99(1) of the Constitution that enjoins him to ensure good governance and protect the Constitution, the President directed that; no eviction should be allowed to take place in a district without the consent and direct observation of the DSC chaired by the Resident District Commissioners/Resident City Commissioners and direct consultation with the Minister of Lands,” the communication from the presidential deputy spokesperson reads in part.
It adds that Museveni also directed that if ‘illegal’ evictions are carried out, the members of the District Security Committee will all be held responsible and action will be taken against them. He only exempted the UPDF representatives who he said might not be in the know of the substance of the issues involved.
In the same letter, which Kirunda didn’t provide, Museveni also requested the Chief Justice Alfonse Owinyi-Dollo to prevail upon judges and magistrates who he said violate the Constitution by illegally allowing the evicting of 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,” Kirunda writes.
Uganda has been grappling with the issue of land evictions which are mainly carried out with support from the police and other security organizations, not only in the densely populated areas in central Uganda but across the country.
All government efforts including the creation of the land fund and amendment of land laws to nip these evictions in the bud have yielded little.
However according to the current law relating to land evictions, there has been no role for the RDC in such matters. For as long as the court has granted orders to evict people, there is no other layer of authority to grant or deny it.