The woman Member of Parliament for Dokolo district Cecilia Ogwal has cautioned colleagues in the 10th Parliament against passing the proposed Land Amendment Bill.
The new proposed amendments to the Land law that seeks to provide for compulsory acquisition of land for government development projects such as roads and other infrastructures and later compensate the owners after resolving any dispute over the value of the land.
Ogwal who spoke during her 70th birthday celebrations on Christmas Day said foreigners interested in investing in Uganda should only lease land but not buy outright. ” This the only valuable asset we have in Lango”, Ogwal said.
The proposals in the bill have generated nationwide debate and jitters alike, with the move being interpreted as a maneuver that will fuel land grabbing and evictions in the country.
Lands minister Betty Amongi few months ago revealed that the proposed amendments were premised on the bureaucratic tendencies involved in compensation of the project-affected persons, which tend to stall projects.
The amendments, Ms Amongi revealed, are intended to shorten the processes involved by allowing government to start the projects pending negotiations on compensations with the affected persons.
According to Article 273 of the Constitution, all land in Uganda belongs to the people. Article 26(2) stipulates that: “No person shall be compulsorily deprived of property or any interest in right over property of any description except where taking possession is necessary for public use and, or, is made under the law after prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation.