The 14 families bought the non-existent land in Kitega Cell, Butinindi Ward, Kawolo Division in Lugazi Municipality, from landlord Peter Sserwada.
One of the residents on the land, Mark Babalanda, says that Sserwada used the village chairperson, Vincent Katumba, and Defence Secretary, Swaibu Mubiru, as his sales agents.
He claims that the two, Vincent Katumba and Swaibu Mubiru collected money, drafted the land sale agreements and gave the same to the buyers. Mr Babalanda adds that in 2019 after having delivered construction materials to “his land”, to his shock and surprise he was stopped from starting his construction.
Babalanda is not the only witness who testified against Sserwada and his agents during a meeting chaired by Buikwe Local Council Chairperson, Jimmy Kanaabi, and the Member of Parliament, Lugazi Municipality, Stephen Ssserubula, over the same matter.
Raymond Wamanga, another victim of the same land fraud, says he bought the land four years ago from Sserwada, but is now having a court case against him after another landlord, Nimrod Basiga, accused him of trespassing on the land.
Before the meeting started, they first inspected the disputed land.
Issues are said to have started when Nimrod Basiga, another landlord in the area, stopped Sserwada from using the land.
However, the area councillor, Jumah Kisuule, placed the blame on Katumba and Mubiru, who he says stopped serving the communities in which they were elected as leaders to serve the people’s interest and instead resorted to defrauding people in fake land deals.
The Lugazi Municipality Mayor John Bosco Onzuma says that the residents ‘bought air’ since the land they are claiming ownership of is in fact a public road that belongs to Lugazi Municipality, which is planning to resume construction of the same road.
Meanwhile, Nimrod Basiga’s wife, Sarah, says the land belonged to Uganda Railways Corporation.
The Buikwe district surveyor, Cissy Nakato, says that the two landlords, Nimrod Basiga and Peter Sserwada, had approached her office with issues of land conflicts, and she directed them to perform a joint survey to determine the boundaries of their land respectively.
Although the landlords are yet to survey the land as directed, Nakato confirms that the area where some of the houses were constructed is part of a public road.
Kanaabi confirms that all 14 families bought the land from Sserwada. He says that investigations have also started to find out the rightful owner of the land since all three; Sserwada, Basiga, and Lugazi all claim ownership of the land.
Kanaabi added that the victims would be compensated if it is discovered that indeed Sserwada unlawfully sold the land to them.
Sserwada refused to answer questions on the saga when contacted.
READ MORE LIKE THIS: