Jimmy Akena, the Lira municipality member of parliament has said people who oppose the constitutional amendment bill 2017 have just declined to understand what is contained in it.
The Uganda People’s Congress party president has been receiving criticisms from the larger group of people who oppose the bill after he openly showed his support for the bill that is seeking to grant government full rights to take and evict private land owners pending negotiations over compensation from the land they have interest in developing for public use.
Speaking over the weekend on a radio talkshow Akena said the opponents of the bill will fall in line with him after comprehending the components and the outcomes of the bill. He says the bill in which he is now trying to advocate for has no ill intentions as he said is being portrayed by some people that it is a trick the government is trying use to grab people’s land.
Akena explained that the bitter opponents of the bill will change their minds after seeing happenings on the land question.
“Ask me after one month or two what will happen in regard to this land question and what the bitter opponents to it will say,”- He said.
The legislator then agreed to respect and honor the views of the many people who are uncomfortable with the bill, but noted that the bill not only helps the government cut out some expenses emanating from delayed development projects but also stands for the people’s right to their land.
“solutions come not by all sides holding onto their positions but through win-win strategies…protect people’s right to their land, while providing solutions to delays of projects..that most important questions of the day cannot simply deserve yes or no answers.”- he said.
Akena joins his wife, the Lands minister Betty Amongi in supporting the bill.
Amongi has always defended the bill claiming that government has lost about 349 billion shillings in the past two financial years due to delayed implementation of infrastructure projects. She explained that the money was lost in paying fines to contractors for idle machinery due to stalled projects because of compensation disagreements.
According to Amongi, the money spent on fines could have been used to finance other infrastructure projects. She explained that the proposed constitutional amendment bill 2017 will help government to mitigate such compensation scenarios that stall government projects and cause financial loss.