The Chief Justice Bart Katureebe and the Commission of Land Inquiry headed by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire have agreed to share information related to land matters to avoid clashing in the public.
Katureebe and Bamugemereire have not been on good terms after the latter accused the judiciary of facilitating illegal land evictions.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, Bamugemereire said both parties agreed to cease their bickering which had spread to the public.
“As the commission, we realized that there was need for cooperation between us and other arms of government if we are to move on well to adjudicate and providing justice to people,”Bamugemereire said.
She said in the meeting, both parties agreed to have a formal structure to avoid any unnecessary troop movement and emerging power struggles among government officials in regards land matters adding that this will promote a harmonious relationship between the two arms of government.
”The meeting has helped to iron out the differences so as to relate with them(judiciary) and going forward, we will be sharing information because issues of land are a critical issue for Ugandans,” Robert Ssebunya, one of the members of the commission.”
The land commission members noted that there is need for more engagements with the judiciary in regards land matters.
The row between the land commission and the judiciary started lasted year when Justice Bamugemereire accused several judicial officers of colluding with colleagues from government to forcefully evict people from land in disregard of the law in what she termed as a syndicate.
“Notably, the manner in which the orders, rulings and judgments are arrived at indicates a grand level of ‘cartelization’ between government officers that allows the issuance of titles, no objection approvals and other such facilitating documents,” Bamugemereire said in a statement in October.
In response, the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe later responded t Bmugemereire accusing her of using a wrong forum to address her complaints.
The judiciary, however, is concerned with the mode used by the Commission to communicate matters of such serious nature. We would have expected the Commission to communicate findings of such a serious nature in form of an Interim Report to the President, not a Press Release,” said Katureebe three days later.
The following days, actions by both parties indicated that the row between the two had deepened.
The Land Division of the High Court would later trim Bamugemereire commission’s wings through a ruling by Justice Andrew Bashaija through reversing an order made by the commission and also stopped officials from the Ministry of Finance, Uganda Land Commission and any other government institution from interfering with the compensation in regards a certain plot of land.
The commission had ordered the Uganda Land Commission to halt any payment from the Land Fund to claimants including Robert Mwesigwa through his company, American Procurement Company pending conclusion of their investigations into alleged dubious payments in regards plots located at Kyaggwe, Buyaga and Bugangayizi but High Court quashed the orders.
In December, the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe accused Bamugemereire of behaving like a young monkey that laughs at a forest that has caught fire not knowing that it is its home burning.
“We have been under attack personally institutionally for standing up and saying don’t say this. You remember the land commission issued a long statement about the ills and corruption of the judiciary,”Katureebe said during a function at Imperial Royale hotel.