- Uganda’s Prime Minister, Apolo Nsibambi, has urged legislators to enact the Land Amendment Bill 2007 to avoid the possible confrontations between landlords and tenants.
The proposed piece of legislation seeks to enhance the security of occupancy by tenants on registered land by including a provision that offers tenants a grace period of six months before an eviction order can be effected.
Mr Nsibambi shot back at critics who have opposed the Bill’s passing, saying it would be a solution to protect the tenants.
He further illustrated that although the proposed legislation will go a long way in solving the problem of illegal evictions, ultimately, this problem will be solved through a Land Fund.
A number of legislators have opposed the Bill’s passing on grounds that it would be foolish to amend the 1998 Land Act in the absence of a national land policy and a register of all bonafide tenants, while others were critical of the government’s failure to implement provisions of the Act especially on creation of District Land Tribunals.
Other lawmakers have argued that by protecting tenants, the Bill will jeopardise interests of landlords.
The sentences as proposed by the Bill include a seven-year jail sentence as the penalty that will be handed down to landlords or any individual who attempts to evict, evicts or participates in the eviction of tenants.
It will be the second time in five years that the government is moving to change the Land Act--first amendments were done in 2004 with more than 30 sections of the Act changed.
Lawmakers are expected to vote this week on whether the Bill should be read for its second reading, a critical stage in the process of legislation. However, a random survey conducted by Daily Monitor suggests that the vote on whether the Bill should be passed or not will be a close call.
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