Chief Justice Katureebe tips Museveni on solving land wrangles

Saturday December 8 2018

National Director of IJM-Uganda Shawn Kohl (L)

National Director of IJM-Uganda Shawn Kohl (L) escorts Chief Justice Bart Katureebe (C) out of a dinner room at Pearl of Africa Hotel in Kampala on December 7, 2018. Photo by Anthony Wesaka  

By ANTHONY WESAKA

KAMPALA. Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has sent a copy of land legislation to President Museveni which he believes can mitigate the rampant land wrangles in the country.

Justice Katureebe revealed on Friday night in Kampala that he inquired from his Kenyan counterpart, David Maraga on what 'magic' they have done to minimise on land wrangles in his jurisdiction and that in turn, he sent him an amended Land Act that he said has done wonders.
Katureebe said Uganda only has land practice guidelines and no legislation.
Justice Katureebe sent a copy of the amended Land Act of Kenya to President Museveni and the Justice Minister Kahinda Otafiire as well as the Attorney General, Mr William Byaruhanga to borrow a leaf.

"So when you talk about land grabbing, to some of us, it is real but let's not have this blame game syndrome and instead have a piece of legislation. Last week, I called the CJ of Kenya and I asked him how he has handled the land evictions in Kenya because they are not any different," said CJ Katureebe at a joint dinner by Justice Law and Order Sector and International Justice Mission (IJM) on Friday night.
He added:"He gave me a write-up of the amended Land Act on how to deal with land issues either for public or private land or communal land. What we have here is practice guidelines. I have shared that copy with the President, Justice Minister and the AG."

Currently, there are rampant forceful evictions that have left many families homeless with the latest of such evictions being the infamous Lusanja eviction in Wakiso District.
CJ Katureebe appealed to his fellow judicial officers to always be mindful when issuing court orders.
According to him, judicial officers are mandated to administer justice on behalf of the people.

He said he was recently in Washington DC and that the World Bank officials assured the various chief justices who were in attendance that the bank has money for judiciaries of the world but on condition that their respective countries commit to prioritise them. Katureebe said he has embarked on this task of convincing government of how important the Judiciary he heads is to the development of the country.
Mr Shawn Kohl, the National Director of IJM- Uganda, in his remarks, said they signed an agreement with JLOS to help tackle land issues against women and that the same partnership has yielded results, a year later.
He gave statistics of IJM intervention in land matters in selected regions.

In Mukono area, he revealed that a total of 650 widows and orphans returned to their homes/land, 66 perpetrators arrested with 59 of them being charged and 26 convicted, 7700 community members, government, police, prosecutors were trained.
In Fort Portal, Mr Shawn revealed that 17 survivors received case management support and secured 12 convictions through Kamwenge mobile High Court criminal session.

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