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Drama as land inquiry, witness clash over Mengo SS land

Mengo SS Headteacher, Mr. John Fred Kazibwe is accused of allegedly fronting different association names purporting to be under the foundation of Mengo Senior School in a ploy to grab the land on Block 10 plot 50 at Senkatuuka Zone, Balintuma Road.

KAMPALA – There was drama as the land inquiry officials and a witness disagreed over ownership of a 1.4-acre prime piece of land in Nakulabye, Rubaga Division.

The land is under contest between the Registered Mengo Senior School Old Boys Club and a family.

It is alleged that Mengo Senior School headteacher who is also a member of the club, Mr. John Fred Kazibwe is fronting different association names purporting to be under the foundation of Mengo Senior School to grab the land on Block 10 plot 50 at Senkatuuka Zone, Balintuma Road.

They include the Registered Trustees of Mengo Old Students’ Association, The Registered Trustees of Mengo Old Boys’ Club- Kampala and the Registered Trustees of Mengo Central Old Boys’ Club of Kampala.

Drama ensued when the land inquiry dismissed evidence by a witness, Mr Erisa Jjemba challenging the claim for ownership of the disputed land accusing the school club of fraudulent acquisition of the proprietorship.

Mr Jjemba testified Mengo SS Old Boys Club wrongfully and fraudulently got registered on the land because they held transactions of transfer which were done after the death of the original owner, Senti Serwano.

He was appearing before the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire-led Commission of Inquiry into land matters as one of the witnesses in a complaint in which Dr Ernest Kimbugwe, one of the administrators of the estate of his great-grandfather states that neither Mengo Senior School nor the associations ever accessed or occupied the land until
early this year when the entire family was evicted leaving businesses worth millions of Shillings were destroyed despite being on land since the 1920s.

According to Mr Jjemba, the agreement presented by Mengo SS club shows Obadia Kirigwajjo as the buyer for kibanja interests and not land as claimed by the school and that the same transaction was never
concluded as per the 1927 agreement.

Prince Ernest Kimbugwe (right) with a relative, Jjemba Elisha, at the land probe commission on Friday, October 26 (PML Daily PHOTO)

“The transfer was fraudulently done in 1959 because the owner (Serwano) died in 1951 without completing the transaction with Kirigwajjo. First, Kirigwajjo was supposed to pay Shs750 but he deposited Shs150 and no further evidence presented to show the payment of the balance,” testified Mr Jjemba adding that at the time of the
agreement in 1927, Mengo SS Old Boys Club was not in existence.

Mr Jjemba, an adopted child said the club was established in 1934 but got registered on title in 1957 after death of both Serwano and Kirigwajjo but no document to show that later passed on the document.

However, the land inquiry dismissed Mr Jjemba’s evidence citing lack of proof and not being a proper member of the family of the late Serwano.

Mr Jjemba who also accused the commission deputy lead counsel, Mr John Bosco Suuza of not giving him enough time to explain was on a number of times asked to keep quiet.

“You are twisted on alleged truth, you need to be debunked,” said Justice Bamugemereire prompting Mr. Jjemba to respond that he was answering as per the questions asked to him.

The judge said that Jjemba on a number of times described as a rude witness who was not helping the commission to find proper evidence.

Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the chairperson of the land commission, lashed out at a witness, Mr Erisa Jjemba, calling for his debunking (COURTESY PHOTO)

Dr. Kimbugwe, a senior lecturer at the International University of East Africa accuses Mr. Kazibwe of unlawful eviction, theft, and destruction of property and businesses without legal documents.

According to documents on file, on January 31, Kampala Capital City Authority directorate of physical planning ordered Mr Kazibwe to remove the hoarding at the site arguing that it was illegally placed without authorization from the authority.

Sitting at the National Records and Archives Centre in Kampala, the Commission is inquiring into the law, processes, and procedures in land acquisition, land administration, and management in the country.

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