Remove Infringements Campaigns - File Photo
CAIRO – 19 September 2017: The Egyptian government seeks to put an end to land infringements with new procedures. After a decision to grant powers of documenting land violations to agricultural engineers, the results ended in a debate among lawmakers.
In accordance with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that they will be granting agricultural engineers powers to file police reports against land squatters.
This came as a nationwide campaign began in May to restore lands from squatters upon the orders of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
In this context, MP Ahmad Mustafa said that the decision to grant the engineers judicial power to confront the infringements is too late and will contribute to shortening the litigation period, adjudicating rapidly, and filling the gaps that existed in violations records and devastated agricultural land.
Mustafa called on the ministry in a statement to develop mechanisms to resolve the remaining obstacles facing land infringements by referring them to the Criminal Court, and not to allow squatters to reach these unlicensed buildings.
On the other hand, MP Abdel Moneim al-Alimi, a member of parliament’s Legislative Committee, said that judicial police will not be the solution to stop the infringements on agricultural land, especially because there are cases of infringements dating back before the January revolution.
Al-Alimi explained that the solution lies in a new legislation for harsher punishment and reconciliation in the previous infringements on all the lands that were built upon, which will not be suitable for agriculture again, by a committee to evaluate this issue.
For his part, MP Tawheed Tamer, a member of the Agriculture Committee in parliament, also agreed with Al-Alimi, stressing that the judicial officers would not be the best solution to eliminate the phenomenon of infringements on agricultural land, saying, "Many bodies in the state have judicial police, but they are in vain.”
Tamer added that the committee discussed during the last session legislation imposing the double value of the land. The legislation is expected to be completed during the next session. He stressed that all MPs are keen to make a final solution for this problem, which is threatening the future of Egyptian agriculture.