• Sun. Jun 26th, 2022

High Court Halts Makerere University and KCCA From Demolishing Katanga Church and Others

UGANDA, Katanga Valley Real Muloodi News | The Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala has extended orders preventing Makerere University and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) from demolishing a church and other buildings on Katanga Valley land near Wandegeya.

In his ruling earlier this month, Jameson Karemani, the Deputy Registrar High Court Civil Division, issued a temporary injunction restraining Makerere University, KCCA Deputy Executive Director David Luyimbazi, and KCCA Director Physical Planning from demolishing the buildings until the main suit is determined by the Court.

“I do find that all the conditions for grant of a temporary injunction have been met and I allow the application with orders that;. An order of a temporary injunction is issued to restrain the respondents, their employees, subordinates, agents, successors in the office assigners or any other person acting in their stead or claiming under them from demolishing/removing the plaintiff’s buildings, structures and or developments on the freehold register vol.59 Folio 21 Kyadondo at Katanga Valley and or furthering the process of demolition pending the final determination of their main suit” Karemani ruled.

Karemani had issued the original temporary injunction restraining the demolition plans in March 2022, following a petition by city pastor Daniel Walugembe of the Eternal Life Gospel Church. Pastor Walugembe petitioned to the court that his church and other buildings belonging to 50,000 bibanja holders in the area are under threat by KCCA and Makerere’s intended actions to demolish their buildings. His latest ruling extends these orders. 

Walugembe is one of the 50,000 bibanja holders embroiled in protracted legal battle with Makerere University over Katanga valley land that extends back to 2015. At that time, Judge Alphose Owiny Dollo of the High Court ruled that four family members and their licensees who occupied the Katanga valley land were indeed bonafide occupants, whose rights are well protected under the laws governing ownership of land in Uganda.

The four family members, Jonathan Yosamu Masembe, Bulasio Buyisi, George Kalimu and Samalie Nambogga, had taken Makerere University and the Commissioner for Land Registration to court over the cancellation of their land titles and ownership of the land by Makerere University.

However, Makerere University has since appealed against the decision, faulting the High Court in a matter pending hearing and determination before the Appeal Court.

Court records show that from March 18 to 20, KCCA deployed its enforcement officers to survey the suit properties and come up with a plan on how to carry out the demolition which was slated for March 21 to 24, 2022.

“The structures and buildings that the respondents (KCCA) intend to demolish have been in existence since 1997, and I acquired them for value from my predecessors in title. The first respondent (KCCA) has for a long time been collecting property tax from me in respect to the suit buildings,” Walugembe states in his affidavits.

He added that on August 12 last year, the Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, wrote a letter to Eng Luyimbazi falsely alleging that there was an ongoing illegal construction on the land.

A copy of the letter was given to the Director in charge of Estates and Works at Makerere, Eng Christina Kakeeto. According to Walugembe, Eng Kakeeto is the wife of Eng Luyimbazi.

“Without issuing notices to me as required by law, the physical planning committee under the direct influence of the 2nd defendant (Luyimbazi) decided to demolish my property without affording me a right to be heard,” he complains.

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