Opposition age limit, land bill crusade starts in Masaka

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Winnie Kiiza and her team of opposition MPs at a rally in Masaka

Opposition lawmakers will start consulting on the proposed amendments on land ownership on the constitution that were recently presented in Parliament.

Under the Parliamentary Forum on Constitutional and Human Rights, the legislators’ campaign against Constitutional Amendments kicked off with a rally in Masaka region at the close of the week.

The Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza says they will start with Masaka district they and have urged NRM MPs to join the drive.

She said the MPs will enlighten community about the effects of government proposed amendments of articles 102(b) and 26.

After Masaka, the MPs will go to Kampala district specifically visiting Katwe and Nakulabye areas.

Melbet

After that, they will head to Wakiso district and visit Kasokoso where land wrangles are rampant.

“The amendment is unconstitutional because it just gives more power to the president,” Kiiza said at the Masaka rally.

She added: “The only resource that Ugandans have is land. All Ugandans no matter their party affiliations are welcome to join us.”

Present at the two rallies held in in Bukoto East and Masaka Municipality were; Hon. Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju, FDC Chief Whip, Hon. Santa Olum the UPC Whip, Hon. Sewungu the DP Whip, MPs William Nzoghu, Kasibante Moses, Hon Muwanga Kivumbi Muhammedi, Mathias Mpuuga, Mp Bakireke Nambooze Florence Namayanja, Allan Sewanyana, Charles Gutmoi, Veronica Nanyondo, Mary Kabanda and Sempala Kigozi.

In both constituencies, residents unanimously said they were against Amendment of both Article 26 & 102(b).

Former Ethics and Integrity minister, Miria Matembe, says the government of Uganda doesn’t have anything like genuineness in it.

“The livelihood of people in Africa depends on land; we never had landless people,” she pointed out, adding, “This land issue was clearly and elaborately debated in Constituent Assembly to protect the weak against the government.”

State minister for Housing Chris Baryomunsi says government take-over of people’s land saying it was for the benefit of all.

Amongi Betty Ongom (MP) and minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, also spoke out on the proposed constitutional amendment with respect to Article 26 of the constitution on land acquisition.

Government has introduced a proposal to amend Article 26 of the 1995 Constitution to facilitate faster Land Acquisition for Public infrastructure.

The Amendment proposes to insert immediately after clause (2) the following: (3) Where the owner of property or any person having interest in or right over property objects to the compensation awarded under the law made under clause (2)(b), the Government or Local Government shall deposit with Court for the Property owner or any person having an interest in or right over the property, the compensation awarded for the property, and the Government or Local Government shall take possession of the property pending determination by the Court of any dispute relating to compensation.

The owner of property or person having any interest in or right over the property shall have a right to access the compensation deposited with the court referred to in clause, at any time during the determination of the dispute.

Parliament shall, by law, prescribe the time within which any dispute referred to in clause shall be determined.”

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