UGANDA, Mutungo | Real Muloodi News | The family of Kabaka Edward Mutesa II has lost a lengthy judicial land dispute to businessman Muhammed Kasasa for possession of a prime section of Mutungo land near Kampala.
The disputed Mutungo land covers an area of more than a square mile, with 60,000 to 80,000 residents on the land who are relieved by the unanimous decision made on Monday, November 14, 2022, by a panel of three justices, Elizabeth Musoke, Christopher Gashirabake, and Eva Luswata.
Justice Christopher Gashirabake in his lead judgment held: “In light of the above, I do not find any error on the part of the learned trial judge for having held that the appellants’ (royals) conduct mounted to approbation and reprobation. Their suing to recover land and thereafter filing another suit in which they categorically admitted to having lost the land sought to be recovered in an earlier suit was inconsistent conduct amounting to approbation and reprobation.”
He added: “Finally, save for the decision to reverse the order for full costs in the High Court civil suit 622 of 2003, and setting aside the award of costs in HCMA no 44 of 2020, the appeal substantially fails and it is hereby dismissed with costs.”
The estate’s administrators, Prince David Wassajja, Sarah Nalinya Kagere, and Dorothy Nassolo, filed an appeal against Mr Kasasa and the Attorney General to reclaim the land and get compensation.
After Justice John Eudes Keitirima rendered a verdict in Mr Kasasa’s favour in 2020, they were not pleased with the High Court ruling.
A 19-year-old dispute over the 640-acre parcel of land is finally resolved due to the ruling.
The royal family had asked the court to rule that all transactions involving the land were unlawful and that Mr Kasasa had not legitimately acquired the land.
On June 13, 1968, Sir Edward Muteesa II first had the land registered in his name; however, Paul Andrew Benjamin Kwemalamala eventually received ownership of the Mutungo land.
Mr Kasasa said that the king’s family had requested him to give up a portion of the land before the court proceedings, but he refused.
“I am now relieved and even the tenants are happy with the ruling. They were scared that if Buganda Kingdom had won, they would be evicted because they knew what the kingdom had done to tenants in other places,” he said.
Eviction of Mutungo Land Tenants
According to Mr Kasasa, the decision now offers him the opportunity to begin profiting from his investments.
“I am not evicting anybody. For years, I was battling bogus cases that shouldn’t have been there. The problem was that Kabaka’s family wanted me to surrender part of that land to them and when I refused, they started those claims against me but now justice has been served. I am so happy,” he said.
“For all these years, my family suffered, children dropped out of education institutions and I became a pauper yet I had all this land. Now that the ruling has been made; I can now sit with my tenants and we plan what to do,” he added.
It is unclear whether the Buganda Kingdom would challenge the judgement. By the time of press, Mr Dennis Bugaya, the senior operations manager of the Buganda Land Board, had not returned our calls, so we were unable to get comments.
Before receiving a copy of the decision yesterday, Mr Paul Mugambe, the Mayor of Nakawa Division, declared that they will work with all stakeholders to find a cooperative resolution.
The leadership of the Nakawa Division, he claimed, is against forcible evictions.
“The rights of the tenants must be respected at all times because as the sitting tenants, they must be given priority if they are to occupy the place and if evictions are going to be done, they must be given adequate notice to prepare and to vacate,” Mr Mugambe said.
According to the available court documents, Sir Edward Muteesa II, who passed away on December 12, 1946, was the registered owner of the Mutungo land’s initial 640 acres.
The certificate of title also reveals that on June 13, 1968, Victoria Mpologorna transferred ownership of the Mutungo land to Paul Andrew Benjamin Kwemalamala Kintu, who then sold it to Lake View, Properties Ltd.
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