Background

The Uganda Land Commission (ULC) was established by the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. The Constitution provides for the setting up of Uganda Land Commission as an autonomous body; and at the commencement of the financial year 2006/07, Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development created a vote for Uganda Land Commission.

Arising out of the provisions of the Constitution, Parliament enacted laws that are contained in the 1998 Land Act, which regulate the operation of the Uganda Land Commission. The functions of the Uganda Land Commission are not decentralized but the Commission may liaise with the independent District Land Boards (DLB) with regard to Government land in the Districts.

LEGAL FRAMEWORK

(a)    Constitution
Article 238(1) establishes the Commission, its membership and the terms and conditions of service; ‘there shall be a Commission to be known as the Uganda Land Commission’. Article 239 of the Constitution out lines the functions of the ULC as to hold and manage any land in Uganda vested in or acquired by the Government of Uganda in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and shall have other functions as may be prescribed by Parliament.

(b)    The 1998 Land Act
The following specific sections of the Land Act have a bearing on the outcome of the structure and staffing position of the Secretariat of the Uganda Land Commission;

Section 42(1), Section 42(5)(a) to (e) and Section 50(a) to (d) define the functions of the Uganda Land Commission with respect to Land Fund (LF) and provide an indicator on the scope of work and therefore the staffing requirements for the Secretariat.

Section 51(1) to (5) prescribes the headship of the Secretariat and gives an indication as to the staffing requirements where it stipulates under Section 51(1) that ‘there shall be a Secretary to the Commission who shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Public Service Commission’. Section 51(5) stipulates that ‘the Commission shall have other officers and employees as may be necessary for the discharge of its functions’.

Section 42 stipulates the setting up of a Land Fund and how it should be utilized and managed. The same section also prescribes under Sub-section 9 that ‘the Commission shall ensure that as far as possible the officers and other employees of the Commission who are allocated to the affairs of the Land Fund are identifiable and devote their attention exclusively to the affairs of the Fund’.

The creation of the Land Fund therefore increases the scope of functions and responsibilities, in addition to land management, for the Uganda Land Commission.

 

POWERS

The Commission has the following powers in the performance of its functions under the Constitution and the Land Act and in conformity with the Government Policy in relation to land matters;

i)    acquire by purchase, exchange or otherwise hold land rights, easements or interests in land;
ii)    erect, alter, enlarge, improve, or demolish any building or other erection on any land held by it;
iii)    sell, lease or otherwise deal with the land held by it;
iv)    do such other things as may be necessary for or incidental to the exercise of those powers and the performance of those functions.


Vision Statement
The Vision of the Uganda Land Commission is, ‘all Government land and property thereon secured and effectively managed and historical land injustices resolved’.

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Uganda Land Commission is ‘to effectively hold and manage all Government land and property thereon and resolve all historical land injustices’.

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