• Tue. Mar 21st, 2023

Lands Minister Asks Surveys Commissioner to Explain His Role in Entebbe Land Dispute

UGANDA, Entebbe | Real Muloodi News | Sam Mayanja, the State Minister for Lands, has asked the Assistant Commissioner for Surveys and Mapping to explain how he got involved in the Entebbe land dispute between Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) troops and businessman Frank Matovu.

In a notice dated November 22, Mr Mayaja instructed Mr Henry Opio Ogenyi to provide more information about his role in the Entebbe land dispute so that his office could handle the concerns raised by Mr Matovu’s legal representatives, Sanywa Wabwire and Company Advocates.

The Assistant Commissioner was given five days by the minister to react to the allegations of his suspected involvement.

Sanywa Wabwire and Company Advocates, representing Mr Matovu, petitioned the minister on November 21 and charged Mr Ogenyi with making contradictory claims about the location of the contested land.

It is alleged Mr Ogenyi gave false information to the Ministry of Defense and Veterans’ Affairs about the ownership of the land.

The lawyers complained that Mr Ogenyi had written to the Defense ministry demonstrating that the land in question was covered by grant 21597, but that on September 23, the same person had contradicted himself by claiming that the land in question was covered by grant 24597 and administered by the Uganda Land Commission.

“Information obtained on behalf of our client (Matovu) from the Ministry (of Lands) shows that grant 21597 was the property of the Native Anglican Church owned under freehold register Volume 6 folio 16. On the other hand, grant number 24597 does not exist,” the complaint reads in part.

Mr Ogenyi declined to comment on the case, stating that it is still before the court.

“Let the courts investigate the matter and the truth will come out,” he said.

Mr Ogenyi is a witness in the court case where Mr Matovu filed a lawsuit against the government, alleging that UPDF soldiers had occupied and prevented him from accessing his farm in Kitala, Entebbe, in the Wakiso District.

The businessman is asking the court to declare the UPDF troops, who are government officials, to be trespassers on his property and to order them to leave. He also wants a permanent injunction barring the government, its agents, and its workers from entering his property.

Through his attorneys, Mr Matovu asserts that he has been in actual possession of the four pieces of property that he bought from four persons in January and that he is the rightful owner.

He claims that in March, the UPDF soldiers entered his property without his permission and walled off a portion of it.

Public Defence

Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka argues in defence of his client that the UPDF utilised the property in question as a political school when it was under their control.

According to the Attorney General, the army has been occupying the area since 1986. The area was not accessible for acquisition by anyone, he said, even when they departed to battle rebels in the early 1990s since their uniforms were still there.


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