The wrangling over ownership of a 366-acre piece of land held by National Social Security Fund (NSSF) at Temangalo in Wakiso District, has taken a new twist after businessman Amos Nzeyi was accused of forging numerous documents before selling the same disputed land to the Fund.
Mr Abbas Kajoba Mawanda, a retired banker, who is said to have sold the land to Mr Nzeyi, yesterday described several sale agreements for the purchase of the said land, application for re-entry and sub division presented by Mr Nzeyi, as ‘forgery’ and distanced himself from the documents.
Mr Mawanda told the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire-led Commission of inquiry into land matters that he sold the 366-acre land to Mr Nzeyi at once and not in phases as Mr Nzeyi claims in his submission to the commission.
“I was shocked this morning to see an agreement showing sale of 60 acres purportedly signed by me but the signature is not really mine. I sold Nzeyi one title of 366 acres and I have never sold to him in pieces. I doubt the sale agreement of 60 acres with Nzeyi because I did [sign] only one agreement for the whole land,” Mr Mawanda testified.
The Commission has re-summoned Mr Nzeyi to explain the accusations of forgery and the gaps in his testimony. By press time, the commission had not decided the date Mr Nzeyi would reappear before it.
Mr Mawanda appeared before the land probe commission following Mr Nzeyi’s testimony in which he testified that he purchased the disputed land from the former Uganda Development Bank managing director.
Mr Nzeyi explained that he took interest in the land in 1988 with a view of establishing a dairy farm but acquired it in phases from Mr Mawanda, whom he said he got to know in 1975.
Evidence before the land inquiry shows that at the time Mr Nzeyi acquired the land in dispute, the family of Muhammad Hassanali Moosa had a running lease granted by deceased businessman Daniel Mugwanya. The family of Moosa has also accused Mr Nzeyi of grabbing their land. They have since petitioned the commission seeking justice.
It is alleged that the land was registered in the names of M/s Temangalo Tea Estate, a company owned by the Moosa family before they were expelled by the Idi Amin regime.
But Mr Nzeyi said any questions can best be answered by Mr Mawanda and his former lawyers of M/s Sebalu and Lule, whom he chose due to their reputation and knowledge about land in Buganda.
It is alleged that Mr Nzeyi fraudulently acquired and occupied the disputed land on Block 296 Plot 20 in Busiro in 1993 while it was registered in the names of M/s Temangalo Tea Estate.
Evidence presented before the land probe shows that Mr Nzeyi sold the land to NSSF in 2009 amid ongoing proprietorship disputes.
Mr Mawanda, however, explained that he bought the said land from his in-laws after the death of his father in-law, Hajj Ahmed Musajjatagayibwa Ssekulima, in 1983, when they wanted money to pay school fees and other necessities.
“My mother in-law told me that Sekulima was allocated that land by government in 1981 and that there was a little lease left. And when the title comes, the Mailo interest owner would take over the land. I approached Kato Mugwanya the Mailo land owner and he sold me the land,” Mr Mawanda added.
He said the land was bushy with big old trees but he did nothing on the land until he sold and transferred it to his friend Mr Nzeyi, the man he has accused of forging documents.
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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