Bidandi family, party fight over property


KAMPALA. Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is locked in a property row with the family of its founder, with the party facing eviction from its Bukoto headquarters.
Police authorities have since offered to mediate the impasse that also involves another property in Kyebando where some party officials reside.
Veteran politician and former minister Jaberi Bidandi Ssali founded the party in 2004 after he fell out with ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM). He was consequently the party’s flag bearer in 2011 Presidential election.
Party officials say several attempts have been made by Mr Bidandi’s family to evict them from the two properties since their founder fell sick. The family says the properties belong to them, something the party does not contest.
PPP officials were on June 10 summoned by Kira Road police commander, Mr Micheal Kasigire, to explain, among other things, the refusal to vacate the premises.
“…you have been issued notice to vacate the premises but you have been uncooperative, implying that you either have a hidden motive or you want to demand by menace, which on credible evidence would be criminal,” the letter reads in part.
A party official, who declined to be named because he is not authorised to speak for the party, said the family has rejected the party’s request for dialogue.
“We tried to take matters to Kira Police Station and they advised us to have a dialogue between the family and the party, but they have rejected our request to have dialogue to resolve the matter,” the official said.
“We insisted to hear from him directly on the way forward but all in vain since he fell ill, until last year when the family came forward and asked us to vacate the premises,” the official added.
In previous conversation with Mr Bidandi, party officials say the veteran politician agreed that the property shall remain in the hands of the party for as long it remains active and when it ceases to exist the property would revert to the family.
Speaking on behalf of the Bidandi family, Mr Ibra Mukasa said the family is due to meet to make a final decision.
“We have to first meet as a family and see how the party acquired those properties before meeting the officials,” Mr Mukasa said.

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