UGANDA, Lyantonde | Real Muloodi News | On the morning of Friday, November 25, 2022, the Court of Appeal issued a decision in favour of city entrepreneur Ben Kavuya in a 714-hectare land case where city attorney Godfrey Rwalinda Jambo had persuaded Kabula residents in Lyantonde District that Mr Kavuya had infringed on their land.
How it all Began
In 1994, Ben Kavuya acquired 714 hectares in Kabula, Lyantonde District, he says with the knowledge and consent of the registered proprietors and squatters on the land. Later, he developed a commercial farm and upcountry residence there.
Godfrey Rwalinda Jambo , Jambo & Company Advocates travelled to Lyantonde in 2015 and persuaded the locals who lived on the disputed land that their land had been infringed upon.
When the registered owner, Ben Kavuya, was contacted about the ownership status of the land, he hired a land valuer. According to the land valuer’s conclusions, Mr Kavuya’s title for the 714 hectare land had overlapped its boundaries by 241 hectares.
As a result, Mr Kavuya offered to give the claimants the 241 hectares of overlapping land, as well as the developments he had established upon it, for free.
According to reports, Mr Rwalinda declined the offer. Instead he asserted ownership of the full 714 hectares, not the 241 hectares under dispute, and insisted that Mr Kavuya buy the full 714 hectares again at the current market value.
Mr Kavuya therefore turned to the legal system to defend his farm and residence.
In Courts of Law
The High Court in Masaka found in favour of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought by Mr Rwalinda in 2015, HCCS No. 77 of 2015, and ordered the revocation of Mr Kavuya’s title.
In the Court of Appeal, Mr Kavuya contested the High Court’s ruling in Civil Appeal No. 224 of 2021.
In a judgement issued on the morning of Friday, November 25, 2022, a panel of three Court of Appeal justices—Justices Christopher Madrama, Irene Mulyagonja, and Cheborion Barishaki—overturned the judgement of the Masaka High Court.
The Justices determined in the Court of Appeal decision that:
- The declarations and orders of the High Court are hereby set-aside and substituted with an order that Mr Kavuya retains registration and possession of his title/land to the extent measuring 472.3 hectares.
- The Commissioner of Land registration is directed to rectify Mr Kavuya’s title by adjusting it to remove the overlapped 242 hectares.
- The respondents (represented by the lawyer Godfrey Rwalinda Jambo) pay 3/4 of the costs of the case in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
Following the delivery of the Court of Appeal’s decision, Mr Kavuya said, ‘I welcome the decision from the Court of Appeal. What was previously a travesty and miscarriage of justice has been undone.’
‘I have been a resident of Kabula from 1994, that an individual would try to evict my family and I on the basis of frivolity is unconscionable. I look forward to celebrating the holidays, as I have always done the past 27 years, with my fellow Kabula residents,’ he added.
City lawyer Rwalinda Vows to Appeal Court Decision
Godfrey Rwalinda Jambo says that he will appeal the court’s decision, and believes has a strong case for the Supreme Court.
“We think, it wasn’t a fair decision, although we won partially,” he says.
According to Mr Rwalinda, Mr Kavuya’s claims that his title overlaps the contested land is not true.
“It is one title which Mr Kavuya got on top of our title. He just cut from us, so it’s not over lapping, ” says Mr Rwalinda.
He adds: “Kavuya has to return the 241. However, we have opted to go to the Supreme Court to have the full land back to us”.
Mr Rwalinda also dismissed reports that he personally went to Lyantonde to source affected locals to represent them.
“They are people who had the land title, and they came to my office for legal advice and we filed the case for them.”
He accused Ben Kavuya propaganda tactics claiming to have won the case. “He didn’t win,” says Mr Rwalinda.
“241 hactares, if you convert it to acres, it is about 595 acres. In terms of money, in Kabula there, an acre is at UGX UGX. 10 million, so, he is losing UGX 5.9 billion. That’s a very big loss and I know he’s not a very happy man.”
About Ben Kavuya
Mr Ben Kavuya, a seasoned entrepreneur is the Chairman of East African Medical Vitals, Africa’s first plant for the production of surgical and medical gloves. He is also the Chairman and founding member of Legacy Group and Global Capital Savings Company.
It is a Ugandan firm that produces premium surgical and examination gloves made of latex without any powder for use in healthcare institutions.
He has always aided Lyantonde District’s social and economic growth.
To support the government’s initiatives to enhance the delivery of healthcare services, Mr Kavuya gave a Health Center 3 to Lyantonde in 2018 during a ceremony presided over by the then Vice President, H.E. Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.
Similarly, Mr Kavuya made a concerted effort to extend healthcare services to Western Uganda by constructing and donating a second health centre with three facilities in Kebisoni, Rukungiri District.
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