The High Court Civil Division’s Justice Musa Ssekaana has deferred ruling in a case in which a group of people dragged government to court to compel it to issue land eviction guidelines.
Last month, five victims of evictions including James Muhindo, Martin Muhumuza, Alex Latin, Charles Topoth and one Kiberu petitioned court demanding for proper eviction guidelines in regard land that government wants to develop.
On Thursday, Justice Ssekaana told the petitioners’ lawyers including Eron Kiiza, Emmanuel Chandia and Tegulle Gawaya that due to complexity of the matter.
He said that different parts of the country have different land tenure systems making it a little complex to have uniform guidelines that would address evictions.
“In some areas land is owned by government whereas in other areas, there is private holding to an extent that government is also a private holder,”Ssekaana said.
“The matter is complex and making the issue of reconciliation difficult.”
He said he needs more time to read other international law literature on how land evictions are carried out before coming up with a fair ruling.
Justice Ssekaana adjourned the matter to January 25 to be able to deliver his ruling in the matter.
In their suit, the petitioners accused government of failure to put in place comprehensive guidelines in regards land evictions in various parts of the country.
They contend that a refusal, delay and failure by government to put in place clear procedural mechanisms that would ensure respect during eviction and resettlement of citizens is a contravention of government’s obligation of respecting, observation and fulfilment of people’s rights as enshrined in the 1995 constitution.
In their petition, they demanded court to declare that absence of adequate eviction procedures is against the right to life, property and dignity as enshrined in the constitution.