15 December 2012

Uganda: Administrator General in 320-Acre Land Row

The Administrator General is embroiled in a bitter row with relatives of a man who left behind land in Entebbe measuring 320 acres.

Agati Nanteza together with Bruno Senkatuka, who are relatives of the late Andereya Mayanja have petitioned Police chief Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura and the justice minister, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, accusing the Administrator General's office of grabbing Mayanja's land.

Mayanja, who was the head of the Nakiyenje sub-lineage under the Ndiga (sheep) clan, died on December 26, 1981, leaving behind block 429 plot 3, measuring 320 acres in Bugiri-Bukasa-Kiwulwe-Kisubi, Busiro. Plot 3 has since been sub-divided into plots 53, 210, 251, 252, 253, 254 and 198.

Following the petition, Otafiire called a meeting between the Administrator General and Mayanja's relatives to iron out the issues in October 2011. After the meeting, the minister formed a three-man committee to come up with a report on the matter, but sources said it is yet to conclude its work.

The case was recorded at the Central Police Station (CPS) as RC CPS GEF 103/2012. A Police source said the case was still under investigation and it has since been moved from CPS to the Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Directorate (CIID) headquarters in Kibuli.

Nanteza said when Mayanja died, the clan converged during his last funeral rights and agreed to apportion his land among his relatives including his only son and heir, Henry Kyobe.

According to a document seen by New Vision online dated June 12, 1995, Kyobe got 75 acres and the widow, Madelena Nakku got 55 acres. A total of 125 acres was left for the graveyard and the remaining 55 acres were given to Mayanja's three other relatives.

Nanteza specifically accused the deputy Administrator General, Josephine Kiyingi, of trying to grab the land. Saturday Vision tried to reach Kiyingi, who is a principal state attorney, but she did not pick her cell phone.

However, the Administrator General, Francis Atuke, said they were handling the case and that they were following the succession law which recognizes only family members including children, a widow or widower but not relatives or clansmen.

"Mayanja left 320 acres of land with squatters on it. We never sold that land. The squatters only regularised their tenancy and the law protects them," Atuke explained.

Asked why they do not recognise Nanteza, the successor of Mayanja's widow (Nakku), Atuke said Nakku was not a legally recognised wife/widow of Mayanja.

"We do not know Nakku because court ruled that she was not the recognised widow. We only know Kyobe as the son and we are catering for him fully."

However, in the ruling by Justice Herbert Ntabgoba dated March 24, 1993, the judge ordered that since Kyobe was mentally unstable, "his mother (Nakku) and the public trustee (Administrator General) would assist Kyobe to look after his share in the estate of his father."

But when Nakku died, her successor (Nanteza) said she had been denied the right to assume the authority that court had granted Nakku, so that she court look after Kyobe and his property.

Nanteza said the Administrator General's office was not looking after Kyobe yet his mental state had deteriorated, adding that he left Entebbe for Masaka where he lives with relatives. "They are just enjoying the money from the tenants and selling part of the land. That is why we want to take charge and recover all the land they have sold," she argued.

Atuke said they do not know Nanteza and cannot deal with her because she was not a family member.

"We are looking after Kyobe," Atuke insisted, adding that: "The problem is that when people see an opportunity to get money, everyone wants to seize it."

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