Uganda: Businessman Asks Court to Block Construction of Kampala-Jinja Expressway

The chairperson of Kampala Kikuubo Traders Muhamadi Katimbo has petitioned court, seeking to block the construction of the Kampala-Jinja Expressway until he recovers his land titles from Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) .

In a case filed through Mugisa, Mutale and Co Advocates, Mr Katimbo claims that UNRA had before implementation of the project informed him that his land had been affected and was subsequently asked to handover his land titles to UNRA for assessment and onward compensation.

The project, according to documents before court, had affected land comprised in Kyaggwe Block 118 Plots 18, 23 and 24 at Kyungu-Mukono District, which Mr Katimbo had bought in 1994 from the late Christopher Musubire.

The land was subsequently assessed but Mr Katimbo claims that UNRA later informed him that his land was a subject of a dispute, therefore, the compensation would not be effected.

Court documents indicate that two individuals - Mr Eliya Nabbimba and Ms Christine Natyaba - had petitioned court claiming to be the rightful administrators of the land.

However, on June 2020, documents indicate, the Makindye Court deputy registrar had written to Mr Katimbo's lawyers, noting that the letters which Ms Natyaba and Mr Nabbimba were holding were not authentic.

On January 6, 2021, Mr Katimbo's lawyers subsequently had a meeting with UNRA officials and agreed that UNRA hands over the land titles to be used in settling and or determination of the dispute on the land.

However, UNRA has since refused to hand over the titles and now Mr Katimbo is accusing UNRA of conniving to frustrate his compensation.

In an interview, Mr Katimbo told Daily Monitor police had arrested suspected trespassers on his land but some UNRA officials, who he does not name, allegedly interfered with investigations.

"The suspicious involvement of UNRA in the investigations raises a lot of questions. They have been tossing me up and down for a very long time. I now want court to compel them to return my land titles,' he said.

UNRA speaks out

Whereas UNRA concedes that Mr Katimbo is one of the project affected persons, Mr Allan Kyobe, the UNRA media relations manager, says it is difficult to compensate him because there are other parties claiming interests on the same land. "We have deposited the money in court. When the matter is resolved, the money will go to the rightful owner. We try as much as possible to ensure that the rightful persons are compensated," he said.

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