The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Betty Kamya has issued 19 stringent directives that must be followed before any evictions or demolitions take place on any land anywhere in the country.
Among the directives, any eviction or demolition shall be preceded by a valid court order identifying persons taking part in the eviction, Police and local authorities of the area shall be notified, the eviction or demolition shall only take place between 8:00am and 6:00pm.
“Every eviction or demolition shall be proceeded by a valid court order properly identifying the persons taking part in the eviction or demolition and upon presentation of the formal authorizations for the eviction or demolition,” said Kamya speaking to journalists at Uganda Media Center on Friday.
At the beginning of COVID-19 lockdown in March, Kamya issued an order halting any evictions or demolitions anywhere in the country.
However, some illegal evictions continued happening.
FULL LIST OF DIRECTIVES ISSUED BY KAMYA TODAY FRIDAY.
- A lawful or bonafide occupant to be evicted only for non-payment of ground rent. The court order shall state the date being not less than 6 months after the date of the order by which the person to be evicted shall vacate land.
- A tenant by occupancy who assigns his or her interest to another person without giving the first option of taking assignment of tenancy to the registered owner commits an offense and the transaction shall be invalid and the tenant shall forfeit the right over land and shall revert to the registered owner.
- Change of ownership of the title by the owner shall not in anyway affect the existing lawful interests of the bonafide occupant and the new owner shall respect the existing interest.
- The tenants on the registered land shall be deemed to be the tenants of the registered owner though they may not have their encumbrances registered on the certificate of title.
- Every eviction or demolition shall be proceeded by a valid court order properly identifying the persons taking part in eviction or demolition and upon presentation of the formal authorizations for the eviction or demolition.
- The police and local authorities of the area shall be notified and shall be present to witness eviction or demolition.
- Every eviction or demolition shall be carried out in a manner that respects the dignity, right to life, property and security of all persons affected.
- Measures shall be taken to ensure effective protection of vulnerable persons including women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
- There shall be no arbitrary deprivation of property or possessions as a result of an eviction.
- A court bailiff shall provide storage facilities to store property from eviction or demolition sites for a period of 14 days in order to protect the property and possessions from destruction.
- Persons to be evicted shall be given an opportunity to salvage properly or remove illegal structures before eviction or demolition can take place.
- Eviction or demolition shall only be carried out between the hours of 8:00am and 6:00pm and no evictions shall be carried out over the weekend, during court vacation or on a public holiday.
- Before eviction or demolition take place, there must be a valid court order or decree clearly stating the number of person or persons to be evicted or the illegal structure to be demolished.
- There must be a notice of eviction or demolition issued to the affected person or persons and there must be a warrant of eviction or demolition.
- A notice of eviction or demolition shall contain particulars of the land to which the notice relates the reasons for proposed eviction or demolition and any other relevant information on the eviction or demolition.
- Notice of an eviction or demolition may be broadcast at public barazas or other broadcast media in English or local language or other languages commonly spoken in the area.
- An order of eviction shall state the particulars of the person to be evicted, the date of eviction being not less than 90 days and not more than 120 days after tg date of the order by which the person to be evicted should have vacated the land.
- An order of demolition shall state the identity of the claimant or claimants, defendants of affected persons, the date for demolition and the persons who constructed the illegal structures on land.
- Every court bailiff shall after carrying out an eviction or demolition file in Court a return on the eviction or demolition.