8 February 2019

Uganda: Prince Wasajja, Kasasa in Another Land Dispute

Kampala — Prince David Wasajja has been named in another land dispute with Dr Muhammad Kasasa, which has prompted the land probe to query the Buganda Kingdom land registration programme dubbed Kyapa mungalo that seeks to have all Bibanja holders (tenants) on Kabaka's land register and be granted lease titles.

The Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters raised queries on Kyapa mungalo following Dr Kasasa's petition that Buganda Land Board refused to renew his children's lease for the land in Buziga, Makindye Division, and instead gave it away to Prince Wasajja.

Prince Wasajja, the youngest son of Sir Edward Muteesa, was granted a 49-year lease on the two-acre land by Buganda Land Board after paying a premium of Shs1,000.

While appearing before the land probe on Wednesday, Commissioner Joyce Habaasa asked Prince Wasajja to explain whether taking over Dr Kasasa's lease would not affect the Kyapa mungalo programme.

"This lease was different. The property had been abandoned. The lease had expired for six years and the leaser had not been paying ground rent for 11 years. With Kyapa mungalo, there is an automatic lease renewal clause. Dr Kasasa failed to apply in time. He applied one month after I had been granted the lease," Prince Wasajja explained.

He said his brother, Kabaka Ronald Mutebi, did not give him a freehold title because he is only a trustee of the official Mailo land. He told the probe that Dr Kasasa was not a sitting tenant nor a registered proprietor of the contested land.

"I got interested in this property in 2004 before I joined Buganda Land Board," Mr Wasajja testified.

When Commissioner Rose Nakayi inquired why the premium he paid for the land was so little, Princr Wasajja said it was the Kabaka's discretion to determine the price. He could not explain how Buganda Land Board structures its lease fees, saying the question should be answered by the board. Dr Kasasa dragged Prince Wasajja to the land probe, accusing him of grabbing his land on Block 273 plot 10 - 12 in Buziga, Kampala. Last week, Dr Kasasa said Prince Wasajja used his position as a director in Buganda Land Board to "sit" [frustrate] on his application for renewal of lease in 2001 and the file disappeared on two occasions.

After acquiring the lease, Prince Wasajja allegedly evicted one Kayaga from the house, demolished it and built a new one.

Last week, Dr Kasasa told the probe he bought the house from the defunct East African Community. The house belonged to an English man who had a 49-year-lease from Sir Edward Muteesa II.

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