Court

Date Set for Hearing of Case Challenging Kabaka’s Land Ownership

High Court has set dates to commence hearing of the applications filed by city money lender, help Male Kiwanuka Mabirizi challenging the legality of Kabaka (King) Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s ownership of the Buganda customary land.

On Monday afternoon, for sale the Civil Division court presided over by Lady Justice Patricia Waswa Basaza saw the applicant and the counsel representing the respondent (Kabaka) conference on issues of agreement and disagreement regarding the 12 applications.

Both sides concurred that; applications for temporary injunctions be consolidated, an additional party to join the respondent and the application in which the respondent demands Ugsh 500 million in security for costs. The point of contention was however on which applications to consider first when the hearing starts.

With guidance from Judge Patricia Basaza, court agreed on May 9 as hearing date, beginning with the application in which Mabirizi seeks disclosure of Buganda kingdom documents (mailo land titles, land leases and bank statements). Mabirizi submits that the money collected by Buganda Land Board during the previous mass land registration was solicited illegally.

Subsequently, court will also hear miscellaneous applications of temporary injunctions, an application by Wameli and Company Advocates as a joint party to the respondent and later, the main cause in the case.

All the remaining applications will be mentioned on May 23.

“The applicant and the respondent will have between May 9 and May 23 to hand in written submissions (maximum of 3 pages) on the court injunctions,” the Judge said.

Mabirizi told the press after the session that “now that the judge has set the date for hearing, I am going to the court Registrar to secure a date for an interim order to stop the ‘Kyaapa mu Ngalo’ scheme”.

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Background

In the main suit, lodged by Mabirizi against Kabaka Mutebi in 2016, the former disputes the ownership of land by the cultural leader arguing that Article 246 3 (a) of the constitution gives the Kabaka ‘trusteeship’ of the land not sole ownership. By implication, according to Mabirizi, the Kabaka’s subjects (Baganda) are the beneficiaries and therefore not obliged to pay ground rent to their Kabaka.

The complainant seeks court nullification of all actions in which the Kabaka has been holding out as land owner. These include the recent project launched by the Kingdom to issue out land titles to all tenants on ‘Kabaka’s mailo land’.

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