By uganda Vanguard
KAMPALA – Development partners have told government to respect land lords’ rights as it amended the Land Acquisition Act of 1965 for compulsory acquisition of land for public infrastructure.
Speaking at a national dialogue on compulsory land acquisition at Skzy Hotel Naguru Thursday March 21, 2019, Mr Albercht Conze the German Ambassador and Mr Tony Thompson, the country manager, World Bank called for a balanced and effective law in a transparent manner. The dialogue organized by Landnet, a land use lobby was attended by members from the legal fraternity, academia, and civil society among others.
“We and civil society are concerned that long period in court could infringe on human right. This could worsen poverty levels. There has been no national consultation and if the prosed law is enacted may cause friction,” said Conze.
He added, “Justice delayed is justice denied. I wish the fourth coming parliament for good deliberation.”
Mr Thompson said effective land management is key to Uganda’ economic development and called for a fair law.
“We support construction of schools roads hospitals among others. Delays in such infrastructure hinder development, however you have to balance between individual and public interest,” he said.
Timely, appropriate compensation and disclosure of information are paramount, Mr Thompson noted.
He added, “World Bank will support government in developing a balanced and effective law in a transparent manner.”
Responding to the diplomats, Mr Richard Oput, the director land management, Ministry of Lands said the dialogue is timely to feed into the bill.
He said the proposed Act has introduced a Land Acquisition Tribunal that will listen to valuation disputes from persons whose land has been taken over.
Chairperson Landnet Mr Moses Musinguzi said land acquisition has been one of the most controversial issues in Uganda.
“This is dialogues is meant to get a good understanding for a better law that is in the making,” he said.
The government will not take over disputed land for government projects before resolving the valuation dispute, according to the new land acquisition amendments.