Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | The ruling National Resistance Movemen (NRM) Parliamentary Caucus resolved to set up a committee chaired by the Vice President Edward Ssekandi to advise on amendments to land laws.
This was revealed by the Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa (Kiboga) who was flanked by the vice chairperson of the NRM caucus Solomon Silwany (Bukooli Central) while addressing the press at parliament.
Nankabirwa said the caucus met the president on Wednesday at State House and agreed that a ten-man select committee comprising of ministers and MPs will make consultations and report back to the rest on what laws must be changed to fast track land acquisition without stalling projects without removing the right to fair, prompt and prior compensation of project affected persons.
The committee includes Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, the attorney general William Byaruhanga, the minister of Justice and constitutional affairs Maj.Gen. Kahinda Otafiire.
The other committee members are Gaster Kyawa Mugoya (Bukooli North), Denis Hamson Obua ( Ajuri County), Robinah Rwakoojo Gureme ( Gomba West) , Sam Bitangaro (Bufumbira South) , Jackson Karugaba Kafuuzi (Kyaka South)
The committee has been given two weeks.
A section of MPs from the ruling NRM welcomeD the setting up of a select committee to advise on the constitution amendment bill regarding compulsory land acquisition.
Bunyole West County MP James Waluswaka expressed optimism that the committee will do a great job in ensuring that development projects are not delayed by land acquisition issues.
He says that most of the compensation disputes have been in the central region unlike in his constituency in Butaleja district where many were satisfied with the rates from the government valuer for the Standard Gauge Railway.
Amuria district MP Susan Amero said that the bill has received mixed feelings from the caucus with many suggesting that the legal framework for land be amended in accordance with provisions of the Constitution.