OCTOBER 7, 2009: Pass Land Bill Now

Pass Land Bill Now, Say Bibanja Owners

SOURCE: Monitor

By Mercy Nalugo

A section of Ugandan peasants have demanded that Parliament immediately passes the controversial Land (Amendment) Bill 2007 to prevent unlawful evictions by landlords.

In a press statement read in Kampala yesterday, the bibanja owners turned their guns on lawmakers in the 8th Parliament and issued threats against those opposed to the Bill's passing.

 "In the 2011 elections we shall only vote for those leaders who are in full support of passing the Land Bill," the Bibanja owners said in a statement read to journalists by their Secretary General Dickson Kayanja.

The association's deputy chairperson, Mr Matiya Ssonko, told reporters that tenants continue to live "in tension" because of unlawful evictions by landlords with many seeking refuge in "trees" since the current land laws do not protect tenants.

"The new law clearly stipulates a punishment for a landlord who evicts a tenant. Therefore it should be passed immediately," he said.

The timing of the call, expressed by the National Bibanja Owners Association (NBOA), will raise eyebrows coming on the heels of a decision by the government to return to the negotiating table with Buganda Kingdom which has raised the most vocal opposition to the Bill.

But following a break-down in the relationship between the central government and Mengo, President Museveni met Kabaka Mutebi last week and momentarily backed down on pushing for the Bill's enactment in Parliament as he moved to repair strained relations between the two institutions...

For the full story, please see: http://allafrica.com/stories/200910070910.html