President Yoweri Museveni has extended the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters for another six months. The initial six-month tenure had expired on November 9.
“Yes, we received the instrument a couple of days ago,” confirmed the Commission Chairperson, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire. “It is a welcome development because it is an endorsement of the work of the Commission by the appointing authority.”
According to the Amendment of Legal Notice No. 2 of 2017 dated November 5, President Museveni wrote: “…this Notice shall be deemed to have come into force on the 10th day of November 2017…The Commission shall execute its mandate under this Notice, within six months from the date of publication of this Notice”.
“The Commission shall submit a final Report of its findings and recommendations to the President within six months from the date of publication of the Notice.”
Appointed on December 8, 2016 and sworn in on February 19, the seven member Commission’s mandate is to inquire into the Effectiveness of Law, Policies and Processes of land Acquisition, Land Administration, Land Management and Land Registration in Uganda.
It officially opened its public hearings on May 9 at its base at National Records Centre and Archives under the Ministry of Public Service at Lourdel in Wandegeya, Kampala, next to the Ministry of Health Headquarters in Kampala.
The Commission has over the past few months, conducted several public hearings in and outside Kampala as well as unearthing a number of wrongful land evictions and mismanagement. Field visits have been conducted in the areas of Wakiso, Nakaseke, Luwero, Mukono, Jinja, Hoima, Mubende, Masaka, Gulu and Mbarara, among others.
Editor’s additional notes: The Commission: The Commission is chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, a sitting Justice of the Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court. The Commissioners are: Owekitiibwa Robert Ssebunnya; Mrs. Mary Oduka Ochan; Mrs. Joyce Gunze Habaasa; Dr. Rose Nakayi; Mr. Fredrick Ruhindi and Mr. George Bagonza Tinkamanyire. The support team has: Ms. Olive Kazaarwe Mukwaya (Commission Secretary), Dr. Douglas Singiza (Assistant SecretaryResearch), Mr. Ebert Byenkya (Lead Counsel) and Mr. John Bosco Rujagaata Suuza (Assistant Lead Counsel).
1. Investigate and inquire into the law, processes and procedures by which land is administered and registered in Uganda.
2. Investigate and inquire into the role and effectiveness of the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) in administering public land and the Land Fund.
3. Investigate, inquire into and review the effectiveness of the relevant bodies in the preservation of wetlands, forests and game reserves and examine ways in which the challenge of human habitation in those areas can be resolved.
4. To investigate, inquire and solicit views on the role of traditional, cultural and religious institutions who own large tracts of land with occupants in a bid to enhance better landlord/tenant relationships.
5. To assess the legal and policy framework on Government land acquisition.
6. To identify, investigate and inquire into the effectiveness of the dispute resolution mechanisms available to persons involved in land disputes.
7. To inquire into any other matter connected with or incidental to the matters aforesaid and make recommendations.
8. The Commission shall make recommendations: a. For improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the law, policies and processes of land acquisition, land administration, land management and land registration in Uganda and proposing necessary reforms.
b. Pertaining to civil, administrative and criminal sanctions against persons found culpable for wrong doing.
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