Court name
Constitutional Court of Uganda
Judgment date
17 May 1999

Josephine Nanteza v Masiga George (Constitutional Petition-1998/9) [1999] UGCC 2 (17 May 1999);

Cite this case
[1999] UGCC 2

THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF UGANDA

AT KAMPALA

 

CONSTITUTIONAL PETITION NO.9 OF 1998

 

JOSEPHINE NANTEZA . PETITIONER

 

VERSUS

 

MASIGA GEORGE RESPONDENT

 

 

CORAM: HON. MR.JUSTICE C.M.KATO, JA

HON. MR.JUSTICE G.M.OKELLO, JA

HON. MR. JUSTICE J.P.BERKO, JA

HON. MR. JUSTICE A.TWINOMUJUNI, JA

HON. LADY JUSTICE C.N.B.KITUMBA, JA

 

RULING OF THE COURT

 

This is a reference made to this court by Magistrate Grade II of Kiira Magistrates Court under Article 137(1) & (5)(a) of the 1995 Constitution in Civil Suit No.4/95. The main issue for determination was whether the defendant in that suit was a bona fide occupant within the meaning of Article 237(8) of the Constitution.

The brief background of the case is that the plaintiff Josephine Nanteza is the registered proprietor of the suit property. She sued the defendant for trespass seeking orders for eviction, a permanent injunction and general damages for trespass with costs. The defence case was that the defendant bought the Kibanja from one Lukiidi and was a bona fide occupant and therefore his right to occupy the land was protected under Article 237(8) of the Constitution.

When the matter came up for hearing before us, it was conceded by counsel for all the parties and quite rightly so, that Article 237 (8) of the Constitution, was a transitional provision and that following the enactment of the Land Act 1998 by Parliament under Article 237(9) of the Constitution, the relationship between the parties is now regulated by the provisions of the Land Act. Section 30(2) of the Act now defines the term "bona fide occupant." Parliament having defined what bona fide occupant is, there is nothing that requires Constitutional Interpretation by this Court. Accordingly, the matter is remitted to the trial court to deal with it in accordance with the provisions of the Land Act.

 

As regards to costs, the plaintiff and the defendant each shall bear their own costs. Since both parties are equally to blame for persisting that this court should hear the reference after the passing of the Land Act, they shall bear the Attorney General's costs equally.

 

Dated at Kampala this 17th day of May, 1999.

 

 

Hon. CM.Kato,
Justice of Appeal

 

 

Hon. G.M.Okello,

Justice of Appeal

 

 

 

Hon. A. Twinomujuni
Justice of Appeal

 

Hon. C.N.B. Kitumba
Justice of Appeal