Individuals evicting squatters from land no longer follow laws, according to the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Judith Nabakooba.
In an interview with Baba Television on Thursday morning, the Minister revealed that in the about six months she has been in office, she has observed that many evictions are illegally effected, something she is fighting against.
“One of my observations so far is that people do not follow the law before evicting squatters. Our laws provide for acquiring of an eviction order from Courts first, followed by other procedures. But wherever I have been, people are evicted without any court order, something that is outrightly illegal,” said Nabakooba.
The Minister said that in places like Mubende district where she visited, squatters were evicted based on letters from lawyers. “Have lawyers now substituted our courts of law?” she asked.
“The evictors come with letters from the lawyers giving squatters two or three weeks to vacate land they occupied for years. Others after buying land even before transferring the title to their names, claim ownership of land and evict the people,” observes the Minister.
She said those evicting the people act with impunity, noting that they (evictors) do not respect that law.
She revealed that together with her line Ministers, they are now preparing a report which will be presented to the President, detailing all their observations in regards to land evictions and their thoughts on what should be done.
The Minister is also rooting for stricter laws and measures to fight the illegality.
“We are considering land related laws to ensure that they are empowered to effectively punish those who illegally evict our people. We need laws that will ensure that those who illegally evict squatters and destroy their property are not only charged with malicious damage, they should be arrested and may be denied bail so they get to understand the consequences of their illegal acts,” added the Minister.
According to the Minister, when the President appointed herto head the lands Ministry, he tasked her to stand with Ugandans especially those illegally sent away from their land as she did while representing Mutyana District in Parliament.