Court

Former Rebel Catholic Church Over Land

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By Yosamu Guchwaki

Alai Dada, a former combatant of the defunct rebel group West Nile Bank Front has dragged Hoima Catholic Diocese to the Court of Appeal challenging the ruling delivered by Masindi High Court Resident Judge Albert Rugadya Atwooki, who dismissed his case in favour of the diocese.

In 2001 Dada sued the Diocese challenging the manner in which it acquired the title of the land which he claims belonged to him before he went into exile in 1979.

The land in question measures 273.4 hectares and it is located in Kyamugenzi Village Buhanika Sub County in Hoima district.

Dada also sued the Uganda Land Commission and the Attorney General accusing them of giving out his land to the diocese.

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Counsel Robert Irumba who represents Dada says by the time his client went into exile he was in the process of acquiring the land title and that midway he failed to proceed since he wasn’t settled.

He says the church built on the process Dada had undertaken and acquired the land title.

Irumba also indicates that Dada received amnesty on his return from exile in Sudan in 2001 and that upon his return he discovered that his land had been encroached on by the Catholic Church in 1987 when he was still in exile.

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He also says that the church has a land title processed in 1990 but Dada who was the political commissar of the defunct rebel organization occupied the land in 1970s.

However, the Catholics say they acquired the land before 1970s from one Solomon Rubumbi a Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom potter.

Last week Masindi resident Judge Rugadya Atwooki dismissed the case with costs explaining that the applicant’s lease had expired and the land was free for reallocation.

Counsel Irumba says however that he filed the notice of appeal on the 15th of April 2019 adding that he has already served both Hoima catholic diocese, Uganda land commission and the Attorney General.

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