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COVID 19 GUIDELINES ON HOW EVICTIONS CAN BE CONDUCTED

Posted by admin on August 8, 2020
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Following the increase of the illegal land eviction during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Government of Uganda responded by issuing out guidelines on land eviction. This move was to combat the increase in the cases of land evictions in the whole country.

Eviction refers to permanent or temporary removal of individuals, families and communities from the homes or Land which they occupy.

On July 17, 2020 The Lands Minister Hon. Beti Kamya Turwomwe gave 19 guidelines on how evictions can be conducted under the legal framework.
and reminded the public that it is their right to know what the Law says about evictions. All the RDCs, RPCs, DPCs and Village LCI Chairpersons to avert the rampant illegal evictions in the country.

Section 29 of the Land act provides for  the meaning of “lawful occupant” and “Bona fide occupant”

 1 “Lawful Occupant” means:

(a) a person occupying land by virtue of repealed laws-

(i) Busuulu and Envujjo Law of 1928;

(ii) Toro Landlord and Tenant Law of 1937;

(iii) Ankole Landlord and Tenant Law of 1937

(b) A person who entered the land with the consent of the registered owner, and includes a purchaser; or

(c) A person who had occupied land as customary tenant but whose tenancy was not disclosed or compensated for by the registered owner at the time of acquiring a registrable interest.

2. “Bona fide Occupant” means a person who before the coming into force of the Constitution-

(a) Had occupied and utilized or developed any land unchallenged by the registered owner or agent of the registered owner for twelve years or more before coming into force of the 1995 Constitution.

(b) Had been settled on land by the Government or an agent of the Government which may include a local authority.

For avoidance of any doubt, the law only protects lawful and bona fide occupants on registered land.

Therefore according to the issued guidelines for both the “Lawful occupant” and “Bona fide occupant” to be evicted due to non payment of ground rent, a court order shall state that such action action can only commence after six months from the issuance of the order.

The person or the institution that is proposing eviction will be required to copy the eviction notice to the area land committee, land tribunal, Police and also utility companies.

It’s therefore a right of the public to know what the law says about evictions. All leaders; RDCs, DPCs and Village LC1 chairperson we’re called upon to avert the rampant by ensuring that the issued guidelines are followed.  

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