The High Court Land Division has declined to cancel the Entebbe Expressway land title despite ruling that the Uganda Land Commission irregularly acquired the said land.
In his judgment, Justice Alexander Nkonge Rugadya ruled that the said land comprising of block 225 plot 97 and 98 Kyadondo at Munyonyo Kampala, is the property of the Estate of the late Sir Appolo Kagwa who died in 1927 and ordered Uganda Land Commission to compensate the family.
This is after three people; Solomon Luwalala, David Muyise, and Appolo Waswa Basude sued Uganda Land Commission for unlawfully taking over the said land.
The plaintiffs sought orders including; cancellation of all the transfers and plots subdivided out of the said land, cancellation of all titles created out of the said land, reinstatement of the said land into the names of Sir Apollo Kagwa Gulemye and a permanent injunction restraining ULC or its agents from further trespasing on the said land.
Justice Rugadya stated that although the plaintiffs had proved a case against ULC, the third parties were not made parties to the suit or invited to testify as witnesses.
“It would be contrary to the rule of natural justice to have their titles canceled. I would however allow orders for compensation of the suit land” Justice Rugadya said.
He further ruled that the value of the amount payable as compensation shall be assessed by the chief government valuer and shall be paid within 60 days following the assessment of the report and ordered ULC to pay costs. The family had asked Shs300,000,0000 in compensation.
Justice Rugadya ruled that ULC acted beyond its duty as the trustee of the land acquired by government under article 239 of the constitution to compulsorily acquire land which belonged to an individual estate without compensating the owners.
The Judge further wondered why the secretary of the ULC refused to come to court as summoned to defend their acquisition of the said land if it was lawful and how they have acquired the same.
“As indicated in the letter to the solicitor general dated September 29, 2014, the secretary of the ULC Mugisha Baker stated that the plots were both at the time registered in the names of ULC but that no written evidence could be found to establish how ULC had acquired it. This was an admission of irregularity” justice Rugadya ruled.
The area covered by plot 97 was fully developed with a Church Munyonyo Martyrs’ Shrine and plot 98 on the other hand was developed and occupied by private developers, including having Entebbe Expressway road utilising 1.3 of 4.172 hectares, leaving only 2.827 hectares,and both plots are a total of 5.791hectares, with ULC as the registered owner who leased it to the registered trustees.