• Fri. Aug 19th, 2022

Katanga Residents Seek USh300m Compensation and Protection from Illegal Eviction

UGANDA, Katanga | Real Muloodi News | Residents of Katanga have petitioned the High Court Civil Division, through their attorneys at Mwesigwa Rukutana and Company Advocates, for USh300 million in compensation and protection against threats of illegal eviction from Makerere University.

The Katanga residents, led by Pastor Daniel Walugembe of the Eternal Life Gospel Church (the applicant), assert that the High Court determined in July 2015 that the applicant’s forebears are bona fide occupiers of the land and are legally entitled to hold it.

Pastor Walugembe, representing over 5000 Katanga residents, claims that Makerere University and its agents began harassing him by detaining his managers and renters and threatening to remove him from the property, despite many court judgments in their favour.

“On the 23rd day of September 2021 the Applicant filed an application for Contempt of court against the 1st respondent, Professor Barnabus Nawangwe Vice Chancellor, (2nd respondent), Yusuf Kiranda University Secretary (3rd Respondent) vide Miscellaneous Application No. 1709 of 2021 which is still pending before this honourable Court,” reads part of the notice of motion.

Pastor Walugembe sought orders and declarations in the forementioned case that Makerere University’s threat to evict him and the residents from the suit land constitutes obstruction of justice.

“Pending the determination of the said application, on 7th March 2022, this honourable court issued a temporary injunction refraining among others, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents from evicting the Applicant from the suit land and the temporary injunction is still in force,” reads an accompanying affidavit by Pastor Daniel Walugembe, Twaha Jengo and David Wabwire.

The University, according to Pastor Walugembe, instructed Ivan Tenywa (4th respondent), one of the institution’s security officers, to evict the applicant forcibly, and in the process, destroyed several properties on the land. This was done while the University was fully aware of the previous court ruling.

They requested that the court grant a temporary mandatory order to restore the status quo on the land included in Freehold Register Vol. 59 Folios 29 Kyadondo land in the Katanga Valley, preserved by a temporary injunction given by the Court on March 7, 2022.

Additionally, they have requested that the court compel Makerere and other respondents to pay USh300 million to maintain the status quo and court fees.

To prevent the respondents from disobeying court orders until the main appeal is ultimately heard and decided, the applicants, who speak for over 5000 residents, also ask the court to impose further pertinent orders against them.

The High Court ruling from 2015 by Justice Owiny Dollo, who was not yet Chief Justice, that Katanga residents were lawfully inhabiting their bibanjas on Makerere territory, was challenged by Makerere University.

In the event of illegal eviction, Dollo recommended that this should only be accomplished through negotiations and amicable compensation.

Makerere University and other respondents are yet to file their defense.

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