Government stops all land transactions

Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Beti Kamya

Government yesterday stopped all land transactions and evictions across the country until the lockdown ends.
Early this week, President Museveni extended the lockdown for 21 more days.

Addressing journalists yesterday at Uganda Media Centre, Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Beti Kamya said all land offices are closed.

She said any land titles obtained during the lockdown are considered null and void.
Ms Kamya said Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and District Police Commanders (DPCs) have been warned not to engage in any land transaction during the lockdown.

“During this period of Covid-19 lockdown, there can be no land transactions, land transfer, titling or land sales. All our offices are closed hence police and other authorities should not allow any transaction during this period. Anyone who disobeys should be arrested,” she said.

Ms Kamya said therefore no lawyer will handle any land matter or transaction during the period.

The ministry, she said, has been informed of impending plans or threats to evict tenants on registered land and customary land owners on unregistered land during the lockdown.

The districts at risk include Kiryandongo, Hoima, Mubende, Mityana, Kassanda, Wakiso, Luwero, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Masaka, Mayuge and Napak.

Others are: Kotido, Abim, Mukono, Kayunga, Kaberamaido, Bunyangabu, Kampala, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi and Mbale.

Ms Kamya said some unscrupulous people are destroying people’s gardens and throwing them off the land. She asked police to reinstate the “bona fide occupants and stop those planning to evict people.

A bona fide occupant means a person, who before the coming into force of the Constitution- (a) had occupied and utilised or developed any land unchallenged by the registered owner or agent of the registered owner for 12 years or more.

“District Security committees chaired by the respective RDCs are directed to assist lawful and bona fide occupants to remain and enjoy quiet possession of their bibanja and to suspend the implementation of any eviction order during the Covid-19 period,” Ms Kamya said.

She also stopped the collection of annual nominal ground rent by landlords or their representatives during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

She said any forcible engagements should be reported to police and other law enforcement agencies.

“Where a landlord chooses to sell land to a different person other than the tenants during this Covid-19 lockdown period, the rights of the existing tenants shall not be affected in any way and the old landlord shall take the responsibility of introducing the new landlord to the tenants,” she said.

The deputy police spokesperson, Ms Polly Namaye, directed all police officers across the country, especially where the impending evictions are reported, to enforce the government orders.
[email protected]