Special Reports

Land Wrangles Linked To Ignorance Of Land Act

According to Frank Tumusiime, the coordinator for Advocates for Natural Resources Governance and Development, a copy of declaration must be served to the owner of the land where by land acquisition gives the operator the right to enter, explore develop, produce, transporting oil for example in Buliisa district.

“However, land policy urges to restitute owners where purpose expires and in the due course, the policy appeals to bank assisted projects necessary to achieve its objectives,” Tumusiime said.

According to the findings, the existing land tenure system does not favour, fair and adequate compensation which has made land disputes and land tenure insecure.

“Law and practice must involve people at all stages of the acquisition and resettlement,” added Tumusiime.

Furthermore, some people opt for cash resettlement because they are not sure of where they are going to be taken and at times, the money given to them is not enough.

“land now days, is at a high price and many have faced challenges such as loss of employment especially among fishing communities, disruption of families and disruption of children’s education,” continued Tumusiime.

When households are required to relocate, there is an increase in the cost of living, increase in sex workers and homelessness as a result of lack of knowledge concerning land issues.

On August 30, 2013, the government made the National Land Policy a public document for everybody’s consumption through a notice in the Uganda Gazette.

The action-packed policy envisions a transformed Ugandan society through optimal use and management of land resources for a prosperous and individualised economy with a developed services sector.

The policy affirms Article 237(1) of the 1995 constitution which vests the radical title to all land held by the citizens of Uganda and proposes a reduction of the period non-citizens can acquire interest in land under leasehold tenure from 99 years provided for, under the Land Act, to not more than 49 years with the renewal.

The act also guarantees the rights of ethnic minorities, pastoralists, women, children and other vulnerable groups though the government retains the power of compulsory acquisition of land in public interest.

Furthermore, the government recommends amendment of land act to clarify the roles and responsibilities of different actors and fair compensation by local government.

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