UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Beware of the Name Charles Kyagaba when buying land in Kampala or Wakiso, warns Joseph Kato, senior staff reporter for Uganda Radio Network. As far back in 2001, the name Charles Kyagaba has remained dominant in land battles sprouting in these districts.
It is claimed he has left many people landless, and to date, they are still searching for justice. These people brave the heavy rains and hot sunny days to stand in long queues at the Land Protection Police Unit in Kibuli with a lot of frustration, hoping someday they will triumph in their pursuit of justice.
Every single working day, different people come in to file or follow up on the complaints of the mysterious takeover of their land by people they do not know. Most of the complainants can’t tell how Charles Kyagaba ended up being an interested party on their land. His name does not appear during the land purchases or even on the documents that date back, even before Uganda’s independence.
Several people have received court summons filed by an unknown litigant only to learn later that the person suing was Charles Kyagaba claiming ownership of their land. Surprisingly, the people who have won the cases filed against them still have no access or use of their land, given that more lawsuits and police cases keep coming their way.
According to law officers, Charles Kyagaba is a mercenary, but the people who have witnessed his capabilities firsthand argue that he is even more significant than the state.
Police reports indicate that Charles Kyagaba uses mysterious people to open cases at police stations, secure court injunctions and file lawsuits on land that has been or is being sold. He then creates ‘ghost’ tenants commonly known as Bibanja holders.
Charles Mutungi, the commandant of Land Protection Police Unit, Detective Senior Superintendent of Police Mirondo Fred Paul and Detective Assistant Inspector of Police Andama Joseph all describe Charles Kyagaba as a person who consistently creates non-existing claimants. In some cases, he hires people to claim interest on land whose location and boundaries they don’t even know.
“Kyagaba is a daring man. When you get him in all corners, he resorts to threatening you. He has sent me threats of intention to sue but I am not scared. Kyagaba is everywhere. People are suffering because of court orders from people they don’t know,” Mutungi says.
It bewilders landowners and buyers by how he had gained so much land. Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Martin Okoth Ochola, issued a directive for a concrete investigation over Charles Kyagaba in April. The findings revealed Charles Kyagaba is an “available for hire” land grabbing mercenary.
It seems that all recorded cases filed against him concerning trespass, malicious damage, and theft have been in vain.
The Criminal Investigations Division (CID) also has many files where people are accusing Charles Kyagaba of causing them harm and destroying their property. Still, these cases have not gone past the perusal of the DPP.
Despite being a mercenary and a man who doesn’t know how to lose, Charles Kyagaba also contested for the Busiro South Parliamentary seat on the Democratic Party (DP) ticket on two separate occasions, losing both times in 2011 and again in 2016.
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