1 February 2018

Uganda: Government Probes Minister Kibuule Over Buikwe Land

Kampala — The dispute over ownership of land in Kigaya-Golomolo, Buikwe District, awaits a decision by the Lands ministry, senior officials said on Wednesday.

Senior registrar of titles Joseph Kibande said the ministry will deliver on notice, a ruling in regard to the land ownership dispute between State minister for Water Ronald Kibuule and Buganda Land Board (BLB).

It is alleged that last year, Mr Kibuule, who is also the Mukono North MP, fraudulently acquired ownership of land measuring more than 85 acres on Block 369, Plot 10.

Mr Kibande said the ministry is investigating subdivisions and transfers that were made on the land under dispute to ascertain the authenticity of the documents presented by both Mr Kibuule and BLB in regard to their claim of ownership.

"We are going to make a decision to see that these issues are resolved. Every title must have a root, so we have to compare all the issues and evidence raised to come up with a clear conclusion," he said.

Mr Kibande made the remarks during a public hearing convened yesterday at the ministry headquarters involving BLB officials, Mr Kibuule, who was represented by his lawyer Ambrose Tebyasa and representatives of the Namasole Sarah Natooro.

It is alleged that the contested land formerly under the official mailo land of the Namasole (Queen mother of reigning Kabaka of Buganda,) is under the management of BLB as per the Restoration Law through which government returned property belonging to cultural institutions.

In his submissions, BLB lawyer Deo Kalikumutima said the title under dispute is part of the properties that were returned by the central government to the Kabaka of Buganda under the Restitution Law.

He submitted that the land under dispute has an entry 'the Namasole of Buganda' on the certificate of title that Mr Kibuule is holding, which clearly indicate that the land belongs to Buganda Kingdom.

A part from Mr Kibuule, the land is also claimed by other people, including senior police officer Guston Twinamatsiko, businessman Musa Kateregga, Mr Eldard Mugisha and a one Mbowa Mudasil.

The BLB chief executive officer, Mr David Kyewalabye-Male, testified that the disputed land is part of the official 10 square mile land under Namasole and that Mr Kibuule and others are holding out as owners using fraudulently acquired documents, which were secured in connivance with government officials in the Lands registry.

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