LAND ACQUISATION IN UGANDA.
Source (Current laws)
- Constitution of the Republic of Uganda 1995
- The Land Acquisition Act Cap 226
What does the Constitution say?
- Every person has a right to own property including land.
No person shall be deprived of their property unless the taking of the property is necessary for;
- Public use.
- Interest of defense.
- Public safety.
- Public order.
- Public morality.
- Public health.
- The taking of possession or acquisition of property should be under a law which provides for
- Compensation before the taking of possession or acquisition of that property
- For the right to access a court of law by a person who has an interest or right over the property.
- It is only the government and local government that can acquire land and the acquisition should be for a public purpose.
Weaknesses in the current Act.
- Does not define what constitutes public purpose and gives the Minister power to determine what pubic purpose is.
- Does not allow the local government to acquire land compulsorily.
- Does not provide for prompt payment of compensation prior to acquisition of land rather gives power to government to acquire land and pay later. The right to compensation includes;
- Right to be compensated on time.
- Right to be assessed on up to date rates.
- Right to be availed information of compensation.
- Right to participate in the compensation.
- Right to access court.
- Limits the right of access to court for only an award. One cannot go to court for any other thing such as challenging private acquisitions that are not for public purpose.
- Does not provide for Land Acquisition and Compensation Disputes Tribunal- people have to resort to traditional courts for redress.
- Does not provide a compensation plan, there is no uniformity in compensation.
- The act does not provide for a resettlement plan.
- There is no punishment for misappropriating money meant to compensate Project Affected Persons.
Proposals in the Land Acquisition Bill.
- To streamline the purpose for which land can compulsorily be acquired.
- To allow a local government to acquire land to request Minister to initiate the acquisition process.
- The person determining the fair and adequate compensation payable to take into account the value of the land as determined by the chief government valuer.
- Constitutional requirement of not taking possession of the land until compensation has been paid.
- Any person with an interest in land which is required to be acquired by government or local government to access court.
- Person having interest in land means all persons claiming an interest in compensation payable for or in respect of the land under this Act and all persons having an interest in an easement affecting the land.