UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Two weeks ago, Justice Dr Flavian Zeija set aside a court ruling that had awarded businessman Dodoviko Mwanje the land of the demolished St. Peter’s Church Ndeeba in Lubaga Division, and ordered a retrial.
On August 9, 2020, the church that had lasted for over forty years was destroyed after a longstanding land wrangle between the Ndeeba church leaders and the businessman Dodoviko.
Justice Flavian Zeija’s decision was prompted by Lucy Nsubuga, the administrator of the estate of the late Evelyne Nachwa, the alleged owner of the land.
She challenged the court ruling by Justice Eudes Keitirima in which he had handed the suit land to Dodovika.
The rationale behind the principal judge’s order was that although Lucy Nsubuga did not file an appeal against the impugned judgment either before or after applying, the orders that were issued directly affect her.
On the above grounds, she is an aggrieved party who was never allowed to be heard before the judgment was delivered against her.
“I am inclined to believe that by December 1, 2015, when the applicant was dropped as a party, there exists sufficient reasons to believe that Counsel Ambrose Tebyasa had instructions to represent the applicant,” Justice Dr Zeija ruled.
“There is no such a presumption that if an advocate has represented a party before, it will presume that such an advocate will have instructions in future in the new matters arising from the same case most especially like the instant case where there was a lapse of time more than one-and-half years before the applicant was dropped as a party in the main suit,” the Judge added.
He also added that Ephraim Enterprises Ltd is added as a party since it is now the registered proprietor of the suit land.
When these matters of the Ndeeba church destruction arose in April, Mr Dodoviko and Mr Ivan Katongole, a Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) urban planner were charged before the court in Makindye for conspiring with several senior police officers and other people to demolish the Ndeeba church.
Before its destruction, the Ndeeba church had been one of the oldest churches in Uganda. It is alleged that it was maliciously brought down in the wee hours of the night by some court bailiffs who were heavily protected by different security personnel.
Christians who had emotional ties to the religious building were saddened to see it in pieces in the morning in the presence of heavy police deployment.
The court bailiffs had also allegedly demolished the school and makeshift structures surrounding the church building.
The demolition was met with resistance from many authorities in 2020. The area Member of Parliament, Kato Lubwama, had condemned the actions of the police and the court which issued the eviction order without ascertaining the ownership of the land.
The then Lord Mayor of Kampala City, Erias Lukwago, said that the church was a historical place of worship and called it ‘a treasured piece of our heritage.’
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