The home of Uganda’s first black Chief Justice, the late Benedicto Kiwanuka, in Nalukolongo on Masaka Road, Rubaga Division, was on Saturday razed under unclear circumstances.
The demolition has since raised a storm among the public and political circles, with majority accusing Mr Kagimu Kiwanuka, the heir of the family, of failing to protect his late father’s property.
Residents say the former occupants were relocated to unknown places to pave way for development on the land.
However, the grave of the late Kiwanuka’s wife, Maxiensia Zalwango, which is at the home, was still intact by last evening.
Residents allege that Mr Kagimu mortgaged the home to get a loan, which he failed to pay.
This claim could not be independently verified by this newspaper. We tried to contact Mr Kagimu since Sunday about the allegations, but he could not be reached.
Ms Maxie Kiwanuka, Mr Kagimu’s sister, who stays abroad, could not respond to our repeated calls. She did not respond to our messages either.
Mr Kagimu is a former Uganda’s Ambassador to Switzerland and High Commissioner to Nigeria.
He resigned in 2016 to contest for the Bukomansimbi District Member of Parliament race, but lost to Democratic Party’s Deogratious Kiyingi.
When Daily Monitor visited the scene on Sunday, people who declined to identify themselves were clearing the debris while some were surveying the entire place.
None of the journalists was allowed to access the place unless if one had been cleared by those who were guarding it. Engineers on site declined to speak to Daily Monitor.
People were still thronging the place by yesterday evening with some reminding the engineers about the historical importance of the razed home.
“If they have sold this home as some people are saying, then it is really sad because this is a political and historical home which ought to be made a tourist site,” Ms Mariam Nanteza, 68, a resident of Nalukolongo, said.
Mr Luke Owoyesigyire, the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, said they got to know about the matter when the area chairperson took the late Kiwanuka’s old cars to Wakaliga Police Station. “We call upon anyone, especially the family members to report to us if they have any complaint regarding what is going on,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.
Former DP president Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere said he was not aware of the destruction but added that he met Mr Kagimu yesterday morning.
Mr Nobert Mao, the DP president, told this reporter that he did not have verifiable information about circumstances which could have led to the demolition.
“I was taken by surprise when I read on social media that the home of the late Ben Kiwanuka had been demolished. I tried to inquire from family members, but I have not got any response. Either way, it is really a shame to see such a historical home being controversially demolished,” he said.
Mr Mao said if it was like in other countries, the home would be made a historical site given his legacy.