Government has drafted a new bill on Land Acquisition to facilitate the compulsory land acquisition bringing it into conformity with Article 26 of the constitution of Uganda.
Hon. Betty Amongi the minister for lands, housing and urban development told the press on Wednesday that the proposed Bill is expected to facilitate expeditious compulsory acquisition of land by Government or Local Government to avoid delaying government or LG infrastructure and investment projects, while at the same time allowing for persons dissatisfied with the compensation amount awarded to resolve the disputes in court in the time to be determined by law put in place.
According to Hon. Amongi, these proposals will present a mechanism for government to access land for development purposes without depriving the property owners the right to prompt, fair and adequate compensation, prior to taking possession or acquisition of the property.
“I am aware that some provisions of the current Land Acquisition Act of 1995 were declared by the Supreme Court unconstitutional and inconsistent with Article 26(2) of the constitution in as far as they do not provide for prompt payment or fair and adequate compensation prior to taking possession or acquisition of any property by the state” she noted.
Currently, government is also in advanced stages of developing the Land Acquisition Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy (LARRP) and it is expected that this framework will address these key issues relating to land. According to the minister, a consultative process is ongoing and is expected to be complete by end of 2019.
Now, government with support from her partners and civil society organizations led by LAND net Uganda have planned a National Dialogue on Compulsory Land Acquisition to discuss issues relating to land acquisition and making recommendations to improve on both the policy development processes and the upcoming laws.
“Everyone shall be given an opportunity to look at the proposals in the Land Acquisition Bill, 2017 which government proposes” she added.