UGANDA, Isingiro | Real Muloodi News | Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has mediated in a 60-year-old land dispute in the Isingiro area between 78-year-old Margret Kwatiraho Kibundugwize and Kitezo Catholic Church. The two parties have been at odds over a 12.5 hectare plot of land.
Kibundugwize accuses the Kitezo Catholic Church of seizing her late husband’s land in 1970. She stated that her late husband, Kurineriyo Kwatiraho, purchased the disputed land in 1962 and won a court fight against the church before his death.
“When I got married to Kurineriyo, I found him battling with the Church over this same piece of land, and the struggle has been on since his death,” said Kwatiraho.
The church, unfortunately, continued to occupy that land until Kurineriyo died in 2001 when the church decided to evict her. Kibundugwize notes that she had won other lawsuits against the church since then, including a petition she submitted before the Justice Bamugemreire Land Commission in 2018.
According to Rev. Fr. Lodoviko Ahimbisibwe, the Kabuyanda Catholic Parish Priest, the land initially belonged to locals who arrived from Kabale in 1956 and came together to donate the land to the church.
He said that all of the documentation used by the late Kibundugwize to declare land ownership were forgeries and that the church remained on the land despite the court’s verdict.
According to Baker Mugaino, a Commissioner in the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, the Land Act of 1995 prioritises the land’s original tenant.
After hearing both sides at Kitezi Primary School, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja instructed the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development to use the land fund to pay the old woman so that the Church and other bona fide inhabitants may remain and develop the area.
To solve the land dispute, Nabbanja authorised the Ministry of Lands to purchase the contested land from Kwatiraho, and award the complete title to Kitezo Catholic Church under the Land Act 1995 and the Registration of Land Titles Regulations.
She asked the ministry to have the land valued by the top government valuer and provide Kwatiraho money to purchase another plot of land.
Both parties welcomed the decision made by the Premier over the 12.5 hectares of contested land.
“This is what I have been longing for all these years, thank you so much Prime Minister for making such a wise decision and I fully accept it,” said Kwatiraho.
The Christians could not hide their excitement upon the pronouncement by the Prime Minister and took to the floor to dance ekitagururo.
In her remarks, Nabbanja called upon Ugandans to demarcate their land and register it as one way of reducing on land conflicts that are rampant in the country.
Call 0 800 100 004 to report cases of illegal Land evictions, discrimination based on gender, incidents of corruption and bribery, delayed land transactions, general poor service delivery and absenteeism within the Lands Ministry.
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