Media Release on Curbing Illegal Evictions
PRESS STATEMENT CURBING ILLEGAL LAND EVICTIONS OF LAWFUL AND BONAFIDE OCCUPANTS ON REGISTERED LAND
Arising out of the guidance and directive of the H.E. the President, and in compliance with the 1995 Constitution, the Land Act (Cap. 227 as amended); Registration of Titles Act Cap 230, Mortgage Act, Cap 229, among others; The Minister directed as follows:
1.Since the security of occupancy of tenants on registered land is guaranteed by the Constitution and the Land Act, when hearing land cases, the courts should visit the land in dispute and ensure that all the warring parties and witnesses are involved, The courts should also allow the different parties to give evidence at the site and allow cross-examination, as guided by the Practice Direction No 1 of 2007. Therefore, in liaison with the Local Council I Chairpersons and Area Land Committees, all RDCs and DPCs through the District Security Committees are required to keep a record of all the Court Sessions that take place on any land within their respective Districts. When any Court Order or Eviction is presented, there is need to confirm that there was a Court Session at the locus quo. In the event that there was no visit of locus quo and the Court Order affects lawful and bonafide occupants, refer the Court Bailiffs’ to the Office of the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development for further guidance.
2.No tenant by occupancy should be evicted from the land before the lapse of six months from the date the Court Order has been issued. There should be NO EVICTION of lawful and Bonafide Occupants on land except for non-payment of Nominal Ground Rent; where the Landlord cannot be traced to enable tenants pay Busuulu, notify the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development immediately stating the County, Block, Plot and the size of the land and its location. Guidance will be given on where and how to handle the matter. Where District Land Boards have not determined Busulu, the following are the legal chargeable Annual Nominal Ground Rent (Busuulu);
•Land within Rural Area: Not exceeding shs. 5,000/=
•Land within Town Board: Not exceeding shs. 20,000/=
•Land within Urban Council: Not exceeding shs. 30,000/=
•Land within Municipality: Not exceeding shs. 40,000/=
•Land within a City: Not exceeding shs. 50,000/=
3.Forceful land sharing by Landlords is prohibited. Notify the Office of the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development immediately when a Landlord is forcing tenants to share land as a condition for issuing titles to tenants. Where there is consent between the Landlord and Bibanja holder on land sharing; it must be based on willing seller, willing buyer basis.
4.Where a Landlord chooses to sell land to a different person other than the tenants, the rights of the existing tenants are not affected in any way. The old Landlord must introduce the new Landlord to the tenants so that they know where to pay Busuulu. Therefore there is need to ensure that third parties who purchase land from financial institutions and secure Court Orders to evict tenants without following the procedure laid down under the Land Act are not facilitated to evict lawful tenants. Refer such cases for further guidance and clearance to the Office of the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
5.The Resident District Commissioners are directed to mediate between help lawful and Bonafide occupants and Landlords and to sensitize both sides on their rights and obligations. In case of seeking legal redress, they may approach the office of the Grade 1 Magistrate.
These are interim measures as we await approval of the National Eviction Guidelines by Government.
20 March 2019