Mukono- A fresh twist has emerged in the land crisis getting hundreds of people in Lwanyonyi Village, Mukono District with the family of Hamu Mukasa claiming the same property.
The dispute on an estimated 400 acres of land, was earlier fuelled by Mr Dickson Banoba when he embarked on forceful evictions following a four-decade court battle victory last December.
He was declared the rightful owner of the land by court on December 6, 2012 and won a subsequent appeal in December 2017.
Mr Banoba obtained the land in 1970 from former minister of Health in Milton Obote’s government, Dr Emmanuel Lumu.
He, however, is being challenged by Ms Ida Jesse Mukasa and George Kasedde Mukasa, the only surviving children of the late Hamu Mukasa, as bona fide owners.
The duo through their lawyer Peter Mulira of Mulira& Co. advocates wrote to the Minister of State for Land Persis Namuganza on June 6 with supporting evidence that block 189 plots 16 and 17 measuring 498 acres belonged to their dad who was issued a title deed on January 30, 1914.
They were responding to a request that arose from a public hearing with the minister at Kirangira on June 1.
The letter states that on December 31, 1920 Hamu Mukasa leased 322.15 acres to George Frederick Illman for 99 years. The said lease expires on January 30, 2019.
Hamu Mukasa died in 1956 and land distribution among his children was contested as he wanted to leave the bulk of his land in a trust to be known as Hamu Mukasa estate, which never was.
This sparked off a fierce battle for his land with the Administrator General’s office blamed for failing to work out a distribution plan.
Now the remnants accuse some ministry of Lands officials of connivance with Banoba to falsify the titles.
On January 12, 2015, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire granted Ida Jesse and Kasedde letters of administration to the said land.
Ezra Banoba, the elder son of Banoba, told Daily Monitor in an interview that Mukasa’s representatives are misguided.
He has reported Mulira to the Uganda Law Society for disciplinary action and also filed a case with the Police Standards Unit against Mukono police for foiling several eviction orders.
He said all occupants who obtained any land after July 1996 are encroachers.
According to a court order issued by Mukono Chief Magistrate Christine Kania on July 11, 1996, any developments on the land were restrained in a temporary injunction.
Carrying a stash of correspondences, Mr Banoba identifies Hosea Ssonko as the root cause of problems on the said land.
“For more than 25 years, Ssonko has frustrated every effort I am making at recovering my land… using falsehoods and malicious fabrications to create hatred and acrimony,” a March 6, 2013 letter addressed to the minister of state for Lands, reads in part.
Ssonko and other elders have vowed not to give up their fight for the land they claim is rightfully theirs.