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Bamugemereire Commission Toughens on Public School Land Leases

Uganda’s Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters has toured four city schools whose land is under dispute over ownership with private developers.

An inquiry is underway to establish how several businessmen, politicians and property developers obtained leases to develop land owned by the public institutions.

Many wealthy businessmen have been accused of influence peddling, failing to adhere to the rightful procedures like carrying out proper due diligence and consulting the community using the playground and other stakeholders.

The Commission toured Kololo SS, Kitante Primary School, Nakasero Primary School and City High School.

Touring Kololo SS, officials wanted to ascertain if the Commission’s instructions not to develop the land was adhered to.

The land remains vacant.

Tycoon Ephraim Ntaganda was earlier this year quizzed in connection with the fraudulent acquisition and leasing of Nakasero Primary School Playground in the upscale area of Kampala City.

ChimpReports on Tuesday reported that the management of City High School accused Eng Hilary Onek, the Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, of fraudulently acquiring part of the school’s land Kololo, Kampala.

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Appearing before the Commission of Inquiry into land matters in Kampala on Tuesday, Rev. Can Job Mbukure, the chairman City High School board of governors, revealed that Onek purchased 0.27 hectares of the school land from Mr Charles Dalton Opwonya, a city lawyer, whom he said had also used his position as president of the Parents Association of Kampala to grab part of the school land and acquire a title.

Canon Mbukure said Mr Opwonya sold part of the school land in the pretext of raising funds to pay KCCA ground rent worth Shs52 million.

“Mr Opwonya happens to be a lawyer and used his office to retain our title. We raised Shs52 million and paid KCC then and we have receipts,” said Canon Mbukure.

“But since then, we have been battling to get our land title but failed. Opwonya said that he is giving the title to the person who sued us but when we were summoned to Court, they told us that we were sued by Onek,” he added.

Mr Thomas Sseruwagi, the School Head Teacher, also testified  that Onek sued the school, claiming for a land title but  later withdrew the case demanding for Shs200 million as the value for the purchase of the land from Mr Opwonya.

Canon Mbukure also revealed that whereas City High School was established, the Parents Association of Kampala and later taken over by government, the same school has been claimed by the Indian Association Uganda.

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