Following the complaints related to illegal land evictions in different parts of the country, president Museveni issued directives in a letter dated 28th/FEB/2022, titled support towards ongoing efforts against illegal land evictions and transactions.
In the letter, the president stated that no eviction should be allowed to take place in a district without the District Security Committee, chaired by the RDCs, meeting, looking, and consulting directly the minister of Lands.
He further stated that if this is not done and evictions take place, the president will take action on all members of the district security committee, except the UPDF representatives because he/she may not know the substance of the issues involved. Among other directives were issued.
In the president’s view, the new directives intend to solve the long process undertaken by the landers and tenants to come to a consensus which causes insecurity and social upheaval. The issue has been complained about for centuries.
Additionally, there has been violence in communities due to evictions that are illegal and procured fraudulently through a corrupt court process and where the different stakeholders such as the buyer and the seller fail to come to a consensus.
The directives also protect the poor who have for a long time suffered the worst part of the financial muscle strength of the rich. This had created a wider gap in terms of relations between landers and the landless which all most culminated into insecurity due to outbreaks of violence.
However, it is unfortunate that the educated society such as the Uganda law society lacks the ability to look at the directives in president Museveni’s view of point.
In a statement, Pheona Nabasa Wall, the president of ULS noted that this practice will amount to vesting the right to hear, resolve and execute disputes in the hands of the security organs which usurps the power of the judiciary.
Pheona Nabasa’s statement provoked me to think whether their move to question the president’s directives intends to consolidate their positions and authority at the expense of the common man who has suffered for a long time.
The Nabasa’s statement would be justifiable if President Museveni’s directives encroached on the Uganda constitution but it is clear that in issuing the directives president Museveni used his powers as provided by the constitution under article 98(1) and 99(1) which grants him the authority to take precedence over all persons in the country.
It seems that the Uganda law society and its leaders are still blind about such constitutional provisions or else they are singing like for God and my family, not for God and my country which is unpatriotic.
In Nabasa’s statement, she alleged that the practice will amount to vesting the right to hear, resolve, and execute disputes in the hands of security organs which usurps the power of the judiciary.
However, the president in his communication requested His Lordship the Chief justice to prevail on Justices and Magistrates from violating the Constitution by illegally evicting people in collusion with land grabbers.
On the same note, the president directed the minister of lands to inform the Attorney General about such abuses by judicial officers so that legal actions can be taken on them.
I think His Excellence did not usurp the court’s powers however he appealed to the head of the bench to ensure that his officers dispense of justice as fairly as possible in land matters.
Ugandans should understand and ignore the political language of the politicians which is designed to make lies sound truthful and unfairness respectable. They should focus on matters of national importance and it is sad that not on one or two occasions, the Law society falls victim of politicizing issues.