By witnessradio.org team
Barely three weeks after 23,000 traders at Nateete market received eviction threats, the market’s two land titles have been reported to be missing, witnessradio.org has learnt.
65% of Nateete market’s total population is women whose livelihoods and wealth is centered on this market.
According to witnessradio.org investigations, Kampala district leadership both elected and technical seem to have no idea of the period when these land titles moved out of their custody. Nateete market has joined a long list of markets on verge of demolition.
witnessradio.org has learnt that a committee to investigate Nateete market saga has been appointed by Lord Mayor Lukwago whose preliminary findings are still speculative. Nateete market is sitting on 1 acre and 48 decimals jointly owned by private individual and Kampala Capital City Authority.
The committee suspects that market title must have gone missing about 12 years ago. “During our investigations we heard that around 2006, when James Sseggane was the town clerk, he requested for those [Natete market] land titles from the office of the city advocate.” A committee member, Murishid Kawalya said.
Started in 1928, Nateete market, is likely to join a long list of markets that have been razed down leaving the urban-poor communities jobless in an increasing land demand for investments across the country.
These include; Bakuli market, Kisekka market, Nakivubo Park Yard Market and Shauriyako market, among others.
Bruhan Byaruhanga, another committee member claims that, “the land appears to have been sold off at the time when Sseggane was the town clerk who had asked for the titles. So, what we have on record is that there are photocopies of the certificates of the titles but they disappeared while he was still the custodian.”
Sseggane, was in September 2006, interdicted over mismanagement of and misappropriation of Shs 1.8bn, handing over the office to his deputy then, Muwonge Kewaza.
The market has currently received eviction threats from unnamed investors, a method has been experienced by several other city markets that have been demolished, behind the traders’ backs.
Other methods applied included; use of fire to destroy traders’ properties and arrest of market leaders among others. Earlier, witnessradio.org learnt that the family of Musa Nnumba which owned part of the market is accused of using the market title as collateral to obtain a Shs 250-million loan and failed to repay it.
In a letter dated September 4th 2017, the Kampala Capital City Authority and signed by one Caleb Mugisha disowned the existence market and its traders.
“In light of the ongoing investigation and in view of the ongoing court process and the fact that KCCA is currently not in actual or legal possession of the market, we are precluded from entertaining RR’s request to assist the company to obtain vacant possession [of the market]” wrote Mugisha.
His contention didn’t go down well with Erias Lukwago, the Lord Mayor, saying that there is noway KCCA could run away from its responsibility.
“How do we deal with this issue when KCCA disowns its tenants and I find it confusing for KCCA legal department to tell us that we don’t have market ownership when we have been collecting dues from vendors RR wanted to takeover, but when I intervened two months ago, I halted the fees collections, but the two months have elapsed.” Lukwago said.
In light of the inaccessibility of the titles, Joyce Nabbosa Ssebuggwawo, the mayor, Lubaga Municipality, proposed that KCCA should register a caveat on titles to avoid their disposal of without following the legal channels.
Her proposal was unanimously adopted by the extra-ordinary meeting which passed numerous resolutions including; further suspension of collection of dues from traders, resuming of routine collection of garbage from the market immediately.
However, a similar method had been used when KCCA registered a caveat on Natete market land under instrument No.00022828 before unregistering it later, withnessradio.org has established.
On November 18th, 2016, High Court judge Ezekiel Muhanguzi ordered that a caveat which KCCA had put on Natete market land be lifted hence enabling RR family transporters to access the land title for the disputed land.
Statement: The Energy Sector Strategy 2024–2028 Must Mark the End of the EBRD’s Support to Fossil Fuels
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is due to publish a new Energy Sector Strategy before the end of 2023. A total of 130 civil society organizations from over 40 countries have released a statement calling on the EBRD to end finance for all fossil fuels, including gas.
From 2018 to 2021, the EBRD invested EUR 2.9 billion in the fossil energy sector, with the majority of this support going to gas. This makes it the third biggest funder of fossil fuels among all multilateral development banks, behind the World Bank Group and the Islamic Development Bank.
The EBRD has already excluded coal and upstream oil and gas fields from its financing. The draft Energy Sector Strategy further excludes oil transportation and oil-fired electricity generation. However, the draft strategy would continue to allow some investment in new fossil gas pipelines and other transportation infrastructure, as well as gas power generation and heating.
In the statement, the civil society organizations point out that any new support to gas risks locking in outdated energy infrastructure in places that need investments in clean energy the most. At the same time, they highlight, ending support to fossil gas is necessary, not only for climate security, but also for ensuring energy security, since continued investment in gas exposes countries of operation to high and volatile energy prices that can have a severe impact on their ability to reach development targets. Moreover, they underscore that supporting new gas transportation infrastructure is not a solution to the current energy crisis, given that new infrastructure would not come online for several years, well after the crisis has passed.
The signatories of the statement call on the EBRD to amend the Energy Sector Strategy to
- fully exclude new investments in midstream and downstream gas projects;
- avoid loopholes involving the use of unproven or uneconomic technologies, as well as aspirational but meaningless mitigation measures such as “CCS-readiness”; and
- strengthen the requirements for financial intermediaries where the intended nature of the sub-transactions is not known to exclude fossil fuel finance across the entire value chain.
Download the statement: https://www.iisd.org/system/files/2023-09/ngo-statement-on-energy-sector-strategy-2024-2028.pdf
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.
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