16 June 2019

Uganda: Nandala Mafabi Cited in Shs1 Billion Land Grabbing Case

Kampala — The High Court has set August 22 as a date when it will decide whether a case in which Budadiri West Member of Parliament, Mr Nandala Mafabi is accused of grabbing land valued at Shs 1 billion was wrongly filed in the Land Division of the court.

The case had come up for hearing last week.

However, Mr Mafabi, through his lawyer told court that they wish to raise an application concerning the jurisdiction of the case.

However, the trial judge at the High Court Land Division, Justice Henry Kaweesa advised Mr Mafabi's lawyer to raise his application by way of a Preliminary Objection on July 21 before a final decision is made on August 22.

Mr Mafabi was dragged to court together with the Commissioner of Land Registration by a couple seeking a declaration that the registration of land comprised in FRV 391 Folio 21 known as Plot 4 Nakalokole Road, Mbale District, measuring 0.290 hectares in Mr Mafabi's name, is null and void.

Mr Stephen Stuyvesant Wobweni and Ms Annet Naturinda in their suit say that they have been residing on the said land as their matrimonial home as a married couple since May 7,2003 while undisturbed until August 30, 2016 when Mr Mafabi fraudulently transferred the ownership of the land into his name.

The couple in their suit say that in May 7,2003 Mr Wobweni as the registered owner of the land approached Mr Mafabi to borrow Shs 150m as a friendly loan using the land's certificate of title as security which was handed over to his lawyers.

According to the suit, after the transaction, the first applicant (Mr Wobweni) left the country in March 2013 to South Africa and returned in June 2016.

However, during his stay in South Africa, he kept on communicating with Mr Mafabi and his lawyer Yusuf Mutembule," the couple further narrates.

To the first applicants' surprise, Mr Nandala in August 30, 2016 had fraudulently transferred the land without the knowledge or consent of the second plaintiff (Ms Naturinda) as his wife as is required by the provisions of the Land Act.

According to the court documents, in July 18,2016 the first applicant raised an objection to the Commissioner of Land Registration Ministry of Lands ,Housing and Urban Development about the fraudulent transfer of the said land but they have refused to transfer it back to him.

The documents indicate that the loan agreement purportedly executed did not create a money lending agreement between the parties and cannot claim to be a money lender as an ordinary money lending transaction should not have a security clause.

"At that time Mr Mafabi had no money lending licence and was carrying out business of money lending which means that any agreement or contract between the plaintiffs was illegal," the documents read in part.

The couple wants court to issue a permanent injunction against Mr Mafabi restraining him from estranging or evicting them from carrying out any further developments on the land.

They are also seeking for an order directing the commissioner of Land Registration and the Registrar of Titles to cancel the certificate of title for the plot of the said land and the land register to be corrected accordingly.

They also want general damages , exemplary damages, costs of the suit and any other order or relief which court may deem fit.

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