Nakawa Magistrate's court has dismissed a petition in which Kampala Central division Mayor Godfrey Nyakana and an Asian investor Tony Sohdi sought to evict city businessman Francis Matovu from a Shs 1bn plot of land on plot 3 Naguru road.
The land, sitting on 0.23 of an acre, was first bought by city businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba in 2010, and later sold to fellow magnate Ephraim Ntaganda. It was Ntaganda who sold this land to Matovu at Shs 600m in 2011, as its lease was about to expire. At the time Nyakana sold the land to Basajjabalaba, the title was registered in his young brother Fredrick Mijumbi's name and Nyakaana made the transaction as a trustee.
Matovu alias Bbuto, who is the latest owner, contends that Nyakana cunningly reported to Kampala District land Board, that he had lost his land title for the land in question and fraudulently obtained another title for the same land, which he used to sell to Sohdi. Nyakana is also alleged to have unsuccessfully used heavily-build men to evict Matovu on March 24, 2012, before Sohdi resorted to legal means to achieve the same end.
Dismissing Sohdi's case, Grade One Magistrate Jane Mugala agreed with Matovu's lawyers, led by J. B. Kakooza of KAM Advocates, that Nyakana had fraudulently acquired the second land title, before selling to Sohdi. Matovu has also petitioned the High Court to cancel the second land title.
Nyakana's troubles double:
Basajjabalaba has also threatened to sue Nyakana if he does not unconditionally relinquish his claim to the land in the interest of peace and mutuality.
"Our clients (Basajjabalaba and Matovu) are further dismayed that, using the said title, you caused immense damage to Matovu's property in an attempt to forcefully evict him from the land," wrote Niwagaba and Mwebesa Advocates in a letter to the district land board. "Our clients are vexed and believe that you should not be the one to do this to them."
On his part, Ntaganda accepts that he sold the land to Matovu and even offered him a land title.
"Nyakana should explain how this title reached Basajjabalaba, who has a sale agreement with him [Nyakana]," Ntaganda said.
But Nyakana assured The Observer he was in the right.
"I have never sold that land to anyone. They should show me their documents. I have the land title; what do they have to show? The land title expired and I renewed it about three months ago," Nyakana said.
While he admits that the controversial land title is in the names of Frederick Mijumbi, he says it is valid and accuses Ntaganda of conning Matovu by selling to him land he does not own. However, the district land board chairman Yusuf Nsibambi contends that Nyakana's current land title is invalid.