By Jael Namiganda
Ministers and officials from both the land S ministry and attorney general’s chambers have faced it rough from the legal and parliamentary affairs committee where they appeared in regard to the land amendment bill of the tabled constitutional amendment bill 2017 where government is seeking to take over people’s property at the much that their valuer gives.
This while the Atorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana and the lands minister Betty Amongi appeared before committee to justify the amendment of the bill after the speaker of parliament told the same committe to deal with the bill before it is taken back to preliminary.
Hon Abdul katuntu the Bugweri county legislator told the committee that the purpose of the bill is to curb the delays in solving disputes araising from compensation and this can be solved by setting out the ultimatum with in which they should be resolved and or putting in place a commission to handle such matters thus rendering the bill irrelevant.
He further asserted that the bill seeks to take away people’s land before fully compasating them, since government is on record for not being good at settling with now still struggling to settle 600 billion in domestic debt.
On his part the Kampala central legislator Hon Muhammad Nsereko asked for a justification as to why government wants to amend the constitution since it’s not about compensation but rather time.
The Ndorwa east legislator Wilfred Nuwagaba guided that article 25 of the constitution give room to government to come up with the bill on the time it feels that suites not settle such disputes thus current amendment bill is in necessary.
Hon. Medard segona the Busiro East legislator said that government shud rather first have an adequate planning for this bill
In his defence Rukutana said that government wants to streamline the modalities of acquisition as stipulated in the constitution and 1965 land acquisition act.
Rukutana says that the sentiments that government wants to grab people’s land and leaving landless are false since the bill seeks to empower government, local government, property owner or interested party access the ward during dispute resolution
On her part Amongi said that the amendment is to cure stallments were the majority have accepted compensation and the minority go to court for top up