Army officers, Taremwa sued over land grabbing

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Electoral Commission spokesperson, Mr Jotham Taremwa. He denied owning a piece of land at Nshaara government ranch, adding that the suit is malicious and only intended to scandalise him. 

By Anthony Wesaka

Kampala. Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) alongside the Electoral Commission spokesperson, Mr Jotham Taremwa, and a dozen others have been sued for allegedly grabbing chunks of land on government ranches despite a court restraining order.
Maj David Tibamanya and Brig Chris Kazoora are accused of grabbing Nshaara government ranch land, which covers 27 square miles, and stocking about 60 head of cattle on it.

“The acts of Maj Tibamanya, Mr Jotham Taremwa and Brig Chris Kazoora jointly and/or severally taking vacant possession of and causing survey of part of public land comprised in Nshaara ranch measuring approximately 5sq miles, Kiruhura District and jointly stocking thereon approximately 60 head of cattle is violation and/or in contempt of the orders of the court issued on January 24, 2019,” a petitioner states in the court documents.

Others are Godfrey Katebarirwe, Wycliff Kashemeza Rwakiringo, Eric Rutahigwa, Sam Kabeende, Emmanuel Kamihingo, Emmanuel Bugingo, Barnabas Nuwamanya Tinkamanyire, Sam Okweta (farm manager of Nshaara ranch), Will Byabagambi (senior staff surveyor Mbarara Mzo), Abeeki Farm, Banuti Ranchers, National Animal Genetic Resources Centre & Data Bank and its executive director.

The suit was instituted by Mr Frank Kanduho, a lawyer, on February 12 before the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala.
On January 24, 2018, Justice Andrew Bashaija issued an order restraining the respondents (accused parties) from parcelling out any part of the government farm/ranches to anyone.
The ranches that court prohibited the respondents from interfering with are Nshaara, Maruzi, Ruhengyere, Aswa, Njeru, Lusenke, Nakyesesa and Entebbe livestock experiment stations.

Mr Kanduho claims that despite the court orders, the respondents have since defiantly proceeded to occupy the land.
“Following the order of court, the applicant (Mr Kanduho) discovered that the respondents had on learning of the order, jointly and severely and in concert with each other, deliberately set on course to disobey, violate and render the order of this honourable court useless and continue to act in a manner that is contemptuous,” he states.

In his defence, Mr Taremwa denied owning a piece of land at Nshaara government ranch, adding that the suit is malicious and only intended to scandalise him.
“I know I have no earthly possession and certainly no cow on any portion of land located in Nshaara ranch as alleged by the applicant,” he said.

Mr Taremwa also denied being in contempt of any court order on account that he was never party to the application that gave rise to the said order.

Daily Monitor