Uganda’s Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and the Judiciary are preparing eviction guidelines to be followed during an eviction.
According to Betty Kamya, the Lands Minister, the said guidelines shall be availed to the public after the lifting of the quarantine.
While addressing reporters at the Uganda Media Center this morning, Kamya said some of the guidelines are that all lawful and bonafide occupants can be evicted only for non- payment of annual ground rent and sufficient notice must be issued together with a valid Court Order which shall have been cleared by the Inspector General of Police.
“The time to carry out an eviction will be from 8 am to 6 pm and no eviction shall be carried out on a weekend, during Court vacation or on a public holiday,” said Kamya in Kampala.
On 16 April 2020, Kamya gave guidance on matters relating to land evictions purported to be taking place in the country during the COVID 19 lockdown, including stopping of all land transactions during the lockdown period.
She said that yesterday during a stakeholder inter-ministerial meeting to review issues of land evictions, it was brought to her attention by the State House Anti- Corruption Unit that they had registered 1,514 land-related complaints on evictions mostly in the districts of Sembabule, Masindi, Masaka, Kampala, Kyenjojo, Mubende, Luwero, Namutumba, Waskiso, Tororo, Mukono, Kassanda, Amuru, Abim, Kayunga Pallisa, Kazo, Kyangwali, Mpigi, and Kyegegwa.
“Despite the Ministry’s earlier directives on land evictions during this period of Covid-19, evictions have continued to take place,” said Kamya.
“I, therefore, want to issue another directive to the Land Management institutions under my docket which includes Ministry Zonal Offices, District Land Offices, District Land Boards, District Physical Planning Committees Area Land Committees and Lower Physical Planning Committees.
“I want to remind you of my directives which still remain / stand: As per the Presidential Directive, no one should be evicted from their bibanja or the land they are in possession of during the current COVID 19 lockdown period, for any reason including non-payment of Ground rent.
“No land transactions (Searches, transfers, subdivisions, Caveats, assessment and payment of Stamp duty) are being handled by any Land office during this COVID 19 period until the quarantine is
Lifted and all Court Orders on evictions, whether issued before or during this period must not be enforced until after the COVID 19 quarantine is lifted,” said Kamya.
She said all Ministry Zonal Offices (MZOs) still remain closed until when the directive is lifted.