KAMPALA. The Inspector General of Government (IGG) has warned Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) against giving away Kiswa Children’s Recreation Centre at Kataza in Bugolobi to a developer.
The contentious park, which measures 0.245 hectares, sits on Plot 17 Bunyonyi Drive, Kataza-Bugolobi road in Nakawa Division. It is the only children’s public park in the division.
The land was allegedly given away to Giga Reality Association despite earlier warning by the then IGG, Justice Faith Mwondah, in 2009 against the same.
On May 14, the deputy IGG, Mr George Bamugemereire, wrote to the KCCA executive director, Ms Jennifer Musisi, querying the manner in which the land had been allegedly given away.
“…this is to request you not to authorise any new developments on the said property until you have received further directions from this office,” reads in part the letter, also copied to Mr Moses Atwine, the KCCA director of physical planning.
Mr Bamugemereire’s letter, a copy also Daily Monitor has seen, was triggered by a petition by area leaders and residents who sought an inquiry into the alleged giveaway of the land, which they claim has caused uncertainty over the children’s park.
This land has been at the centre of controversy since 2006 when it was first leased out to Kashari-Buhweju Farmers Ltd.
On March 15, 2006, Kampala District Land Board (KDLB) gave a five- year initial lease to Kashari-Buhweju Farmers Ltd. After five years, this lease would be extended to 49 years.
According to documents, the firm would pay a premium of Shs10m to the then Kampala City Council (KCC) in Nakawa Division and ground rent of Shs200,000 per annum to KDLB, but this would be revisable every year.
However, area residents raised the red flag over the transaction, claiming that the lease was fraudulently offered to the firm.
They petitioned the then IGG Justice Faith Mwondha in 2009, who directed the then KCC town clerk, Ms Ruth Kijjambu, to cancel the lease.
“…in line with the rescission of the lease, and the irregularities and fraudulent misrepresentations listed above, the Registrar of Titles is directed to cancel the certificate granted to Kashari-Buhweju Farmers Ltd,” Justice Mwondha wrote.
She also directed KCC should redevelop the land into a children’s park. Despite the IGG’s directive, Mr Moses Atwine, the current KCCA director of physical planning, okayed the redevelopment of the contested land to Giga Reality Association Ltd on February 3, 2016 hence sparking a protest from area leaders and residents.
According to Mr Atwine’s letter, Giga Reality Association Ltd would construct a chain link fence for one year.
This reporter has learnt that residents have since blocked Giga Reality Association Ltd from redeveloping the land until the matter is resolved by relevant authorities.
The residents want the land to be maintained as a children’s park.
“This is the only public park where our children could meet and play but efforts to recover it have since hit a snag because there are some influential government officials behind this deal,” said Mr Stephen Ssegawa, an area resident.
Mr Moses Okwera, the Nakawa II councillor, told Daily Monitor that it is unfair for the children’s recreational park to be given out to an investor without any justification.
“We want the IGG to get to the bottom of this matter because we can’t afford to lose this only public recreational park in Nakawa. We even chased away the developer who had fenced it off,” he said.
Mr Charles Ouma, the KCCA acting director of legal affairs, told the KCCA public accounts committee (Pac) recently, that the matter has since been reported to police for further investigations.
“The giveaway of that land in Kiswa is currently being probed by the Criminal Investigations Department at Kibuli and when the probe is done, we shall furnish this committee [Pac] with a report, but we are doing what we can to save public land,” he said.
Other Kampala recreational parks whose management has been queried by city leaders are Centenary Park, children’s park in Kamwokya, Jubilee gardens (Sheraton), Constitution Square and Railway grounds.
Report. Last year, KCCA public accounts committee released a report, which queried the manner in which city public land was given out. It stated that KCCA was losing a lot of revenue in land battles.
Source: Daily Monitor
Complaint against unprofessional conduct of the DPC Kiryandongo district for aiding and abetting land grabbing in kiryandongo district.
Professional Standards Unit, Uganda Police-Kampala.
RE: COMPLAINT AGAINST UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF THE DPC KIRYANDONGO DISTRICT FOR AIDING AND ABETTING LAND GRABBING IN NYAMUTENDE KITWARA PARISH KIRYANDONGO DISTRICT AND CARRYING OUT ILLEGAL ARRESTS AND DETENTION OF INNOCENT RESIDENTS/ BIBANJA OWNERS FOR PROTESTING AGAINST THE ILLEGAL EVICTION FROM THEIR LAND.
We act for and behalf of the Lawful and bonafide occupants of Land described as LRV MAS 2 FOLIO 8 BLOCK 8 PLOT 22 (FORMERLY KNOWN AS RANCH 22).
Our Clients are residents of Nyamutende Village, Kitwara Parish in Kiryandongo District where they have lived for more than 30 years and sometime in 2017, they applied for a lease of the said Land to Kiryandongo District Land Board through the Directorate of Land Matters State House.
As they were still awaiting their Application to be processed, they were shocked to establish that the said land had been instead leased to and registered in the names of Isingoma Julius, Mwesige Simon, John Musokota William, Tumusiime Gerald, Wabwire Messener Gabriel, Ocema Richard and Wilson Shikhama, some of whom were not known to the Complainants. A copy of the Search is attached hereto
Our clients protested the above action and appealed to relevant offices, but were shocked to discover that the above persons had gone ahead and sold the same to a one Maseruka Robert.
Aggrieved by these actions, the Complainants appealed to the RDC who advised them to institute proceedings against the said persons, and assigned them a one Mbabazi Samuel to assist them to that effect. The said Mbabazi accordingly filed Civil Suit Noa 46 of 2019 against tne said registered proprietors at Masindi High Court challenging the illegal and fraudulent registration, sale and transfer of the subject land to Maseruka Robert.
While awaiting the progress of the case mentioned hereinabove, the Complainants were surprised to find that the said Mbabazi, instead of assisting them, he went into a consent settling the said suit on their behalf without their knowledge or consent. A copy of the Consent is attached hereto.
Among the terms of the said consent Judgment was that the residents would be compensated without specifying how much and would in return vacate the Land.
As if that was not enough, Maseruka Robert and Mbabazi Samuel are going ahead to execute the said Consent Judgment by forcefully evicting the occupants without compensation which has prompted the complainants to challenge the said Consent by applying for its review and setting aside at Masindi High Court which is coming up for hearing on the 29th March 2023. A copy of the Application is attached hereto.
Sensing the imminent threat of eviction, we also filed an application for interim stay of execution of the said consent to avoid rendering their application for review nugatory but unfortunately the same could not be heard on the date it was fixed for hearing (6th February 2023). A copy of the Application is attached hereto
On Thursday last week, three tractors being operated by 6 workers of a one Mbabazi Samuel [the very person who had been entrusted to represent our Clients to secure their Land through Civil Suit No.46 of 2019] encroached close to 50 acres of our Clients’ land and started ploughing it but our Client’s protested and chased them away.
We have however been shocked to receive information from our Clients that on Sunday at Mid night, 3 police patrols invaded the community in the night and arrested community members; Mulenje Jack, Steven Kagyenji, Mulekwa David, Ntambala Geoffrey, Tumukunde Isaac 15 years, Kanunu Innocent, Mukombozi Frank, Kuzara, Rwamunyankole Enock, and took them to Kiryandongo Police Station where they are currently detained.
We strongly protest the illegal arrests and detention of our Clients as this is a carefully orchestrated land grabbing scheme by Maseruka Robert and Mbabazi Samuel who are receiving support from the DPC Kiryandongo.
The purpose of this Letter therefore is to request your good office to investigate the misconduct, abuse of office and unprofessionalism of the said DPC Kiryandongo District and all his involvement in the land grabbing schemes on land formerly known as Ranch 22.
Looking forward to your urgent intervention,
C.C The Head Police Land Protection Unit Police Head Quarters Naguru
CC The RDC Kiryandongo District
CC The Chairman LCVKityadongo District
CC The Regional Police CommanderAlbertine Region
The Executive Director of Witness Radio Uganda talks about the role played by Witness Radio in protecting communities affected by large-scale agribusinesses in Kiryandongo district in an interview with the ILC.
Witness Radio Uganda wins the best CSO land rights defenders award at the National Land Forum Awards.
By Witness Radio Team
Uganda’s leading land and environmental rights watchdog, Witness Radio has been awarded the best CSO land rights defender award 2022 in the recently concluded National Land Forum Awards held last week at Mestil hotel in Kampala.
Witness Radio’s executive Director, Jeff Wokulira Ssebaggala attributed the award to the community land and environmental rights defenders who stand up against the intimidation and different forms of harassment from land grabbers (economically powerful and politically connected companies and individual investors).
“This is an award for defenders at a community level. They work in very deadly environments filled with harassment, torture, death threats, arrest, trumped-up charges, and kidnaps among others to advocate for community land and environment rights. This is happening at a spate where criminalization and silencing of community land rights defenders are at increase.” Jeff added.
The award has come at a time when hundreds of Ugandans in different parts of the country are accessing services provided by the organization ranging from legal service provisions, non-judicial mechanism engagements, empowerment to help them understand their rights, and using the same knowledge to use the same skills to push back against illegal and forced evictions
The chairman of the organizing committee of the second National Land Forum, Mr. Jimmy Ochom noted some progress on legislation in Uganda’s land Governance. He cited growing inequalities on land where the poor are more vulnerable.
During awards, the state minister for housing, Hon persis Namuganza revealed that the government approved the plan for 2018-2040 that maps the land use in the country.
According to the minister, the government had identified land for settlement, game reserves, wildlife, arable land for farming, and water bodies among others in the plan which she said was passed a few weeks ago.
The event was organized by Oxfam and partners and provided a platform for discussions by the different actors in the land sector on issues around land governance, including land rights, land administration, and land governance for improved collaboration, cooperation between the actors, and improved land service delivery for Ugandans under a theme “Taking stock of the National Land Policy in addressing Land inequality in addressing Land inequality in Uganda.”
Other categories of awards that were won by different organizations and individuals including Mr. Eddie Nsamba-Gayiiya for his contribution to research on land rights, Justice Centers Uganda for Promoting Access to Land Justice, and Mr. Henry Harrison Irumba for Championing Legal Reforms among others.
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