NAIROBI – Prof. Patrick Lumumba, the Director of the Kenya School of Law, has tasked Uganda’s judicial officers not to sit in their courts and wait for facts when ruling on land matters but go out and find them.
Speaking during a consultative meeting between judicial officers and the commission of inquiry into land matters at Imperial Golf Course Hotel in Entebbe on Monday, November 04, 2019, Prof Lumumba said many people forge land titles and feign innocence.
“Go behind the title deed because corruption in matters of land is alive,” Prof Lumumba urged the judges.
He also urged the Judiciary to also consider the African dispute resolution method (mediation) in matters of land resolution.
In the spirit of pan Africanism, Prof Lumumba urged the Judges to remember that there are societies who live and derive their livelihoods from forests.
His remarks came after the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe acknowledge that there were some corrupt judicial officers frustrating land cases.
“Let’s not abuse judicial authority. Handle the cases you can but be in court when you are required to be there,” Justice Katureebe said.
“When a person comes with a case, your duty is to listen to the case. Listen to the other party as well and use the law to give a decision,” he added.
The Chief Justice also said the land division of the High Court is constrained by manpower, with only four judges handling land matters in the court.
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire said many people are facing eviction arising from court orders.
“We have found the need to fight corruption in land matters. Corruption in land matters is entrenched up to LC I level, area land committees and district land boards, surveyors, registrars of land, middlemen, brokers and in the office of the Administrator-General,” Justice Bamugemereire said.
The consultative meeting between judicial officers and the commission of inquiry into land matters ends on Tuesday.