BY MEDDIE KITYO
ADAMANT Sembabule Residential District Commissioner (RDC) Nickson Kabuye Nuwagaba faces arrest and prosecution in courts of law in relation to grabbing Kabaka’s land located in Sembabule, Mawogola County Headquaters.
Aided by RDC Nuwagaba, Musa Kiberu’s Kakoni Holdings is defiantly constructing a district canteen on Kabaka’s land.
Addressing journalists at Media Centre yesterday Thursday, Central Government Lands minister Beti Olive Namisango Kamya sounded a warning to RDC Nuwagaba and his partners in crime to watch out or be ready to pay for their sins.
Minister Kamya clarified that, “The role of the RDC is specifically to maintain security and monitor government projects. Therefore, taking over the Judicial duties on land matters like ascertaining the genuine title and who is the rightful land owner, is totally none of RDC’s business.”
“That is the work of the Court and Lands ministry. The Minister in charge of Presidency perfectly took you through your limitation during RDC orientation in NALI- Kyankwanzi. I therefore want to remind you of your roles.” Kamya warned Nuwagaba and other RDCs taking it upon themselves to solve land matters.
This comes after Buganda Kingdom wrote to Central government asking them to order RDC Nickson Nuwagaba off Kabaka’s land where he is aiding and procuring tresspass on the Mawogola Saza Headquarters’ land which is among properties returned to the Kabaka in 2013.
On April 06th 2020, Nuwagaba wrote to Mawogola County chief Muteesa Ssalongo Muhammad Sserwadda, giving Kabaka only two days, during this lockdown where Buganda Land Board offices are closed, to produce the title for this disputed land or else, he clears construction to go on.
In a letter to Nuwagaba dated April 08th 2020 wrote, the Buganda Kingdom Advocate who is also Kingdom Attorney General and minister in charge of Local Government Owek. Christopher Bwanika said they are shocked that the Sembabule RDC who heads this district Covid -19 task force is ignorant about the measures given by President Museveni to fight the spread of Coronavirus.
“We are surprised that you are asking Owesaza Muteesa to submit to Police without fail a copy of the title not later than Thursday 09 April 2020 as proof that the land in question belongs to Buganda Kingdom moreover during the COVID-19 lockdown.” Said Buganda Kingdom Attorney General.
Owek. Bwanika added, “Your conduct amounts to inciting and aiding the contractor who is tresspassing on Kabaka’s land. You have no power to confer title to the purported developer in contradiction and violation of the Agreement of 1st August 2013, lest you embarrass the office which you represent and the government you serve.”
“You are therefore, put on Notice (and the copy of this letter to the Attorney General constitutes the requisite STATUTORY NOTICE) to desist from proceeding illegally to permit or aid, the commission of tresspass on Kabaka’s Land which was returned and restored to the kingdom, in broad day light.”
On Easter Sunday night, Nuwagaba however okayed the illegal construction on Kabaka’s land to kicky off.
BUGANDA ATTORNEY GENERAL’S LETTER TO SEMBABULE RDC
Your letter under reference RDC 76/1200/05 of 6th April 2020 addressed to Haji Serwadda Mohammed, Owesaza Muteesa (SAZA chief) of Mawogola who is the Kabaka’s representative in Mawogola ,has been placed in the hands of the Attorney General of Buganda and the same is being responded to on behalf of the kingdom of Buganda as follows:
a) The Buganda Kingdom has received and noted the contents of your letter with shock and consternation that, you as Resident District Commissioner of Sembabule, who represents the President of Uganda in the district of Sembabule, appear not to appreciate that the Land in question is the Saza Headquarters of Mawogola Saza which was returned to the Kabaka by His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, vide an agreement signed by President Museveni and Kabaka Mutebi on 1st August 2013 under the auspices of the Traditional Rulers (Restitution of Assets and Properties Act cap 247).
b) You very well know that Buganda Kingdom reported a case of Criminal Tresspass Vide SD 35/03/04/2020, in the wake of an earlier complaint by a contractor who was tresspassing on the Kabakas land, allegedly on instructions of Sembabule District Administration, Vide SD 42/26/3/2020, a case reported late in March 2020.
c) We wrote to the District CID officer of Sembabule on 27th March 2020 and copied you in, indicating that Buganda Kingdom offices had closed down in obedience to the orders of President Museveni which culminated in the Public Health (Control of COVID-19 ) order 2020 and other related Presidential orders, which restricted movements and interactions of people, to control the spread of the Corona Virus.
Accordingly I promised and indicated that, the Ministry of Local Government of the Buganda Kingdom which I lead, will provide to the police, all requisite information regarding the matter, when Government lifts the ban and we can access the Kingdom offices. A copy of my letter dated 27th March 2020 which was copied to you.
d) Buganda Government is shocked and surprised that, although we protested to the tresspass and reported a criminal case at Police and investigations could not effectively be carried out when there is a lockdown, quarantine and curfew ordered by the Government, there is haste on your part to authorise developments and construction to be carried out on the land which is not going to move away tomorrow!!!
Can it be fair to give an ultimatum to the kingdom to produce documents which are at Bulange, which is currently inaccessible, by Thursday 9th April 2020??
e) It is in my knowledge that the NRM Government which cherishes the Rule of Law, fair play and non-oppression, can not condone what you are trying to order on behalf of the same Government, to ask a citizen and our Administration which are not allowed to move and have no access to the offices, to produce the documentation as you have directed. It is not only not feasible but it is also illegal to violate the Presidential directives and the law. The Presidential orders were promulgated into law and created offences on the part of anybody who violates them.
f) The Legal process can take judicial notice of the agreement which returned all Saza Headquarters land to the Kabaka and particularly the land in question. You as Chairman of Sembabule District COVID-19 Committee should be the last person to violate President Museveni’s directives and the 2013 Agreement he signed with the Kabaka of Buganda.
g) Your directive that construction continues on the Saza land which was returned to the Kabaka, contrary to the advice of the Police, for the construction to be halted until the COVID-19 Government ban is over, violates the law and will definitely expose the Uganda Government to liability in damages for which you will be personally held liable because your conduct is at variance with the President’s act of returning and restoring Kabaka’s land and the COVID-19 directives to halt business during this period. There is no justification for rushing to construct a canteen illegally on Kabaka’s Land during this lock down.
h) The haste with which you are acting is mischievous and is likely to embarrass the Government of Uganda which has at all material times handled the matter carefully. We are accordingly copying this letter to the Minister in charge of the Presidency and the Office of the President as well as the Attorney General to seek the intervention of the said high offices to render appropriate advice to avoid causing embarrassment to Government and exposing it to liability in tort.
i) There is no urgency for your rushed action when there are Presidential bans and measures to control the spread of Corona Virus in place during the COVID-19 lock down. Buganda Kingdom or its officials have not committed any capital offence which creates an emergency caling for rushed investigations and we reiterate the contents of our letter of 27th March 2020 to the District CID officer Sembabule Police Station which we have attached.
STAND DULY NOTIFIED that Buganda Kingdom is a law abiding cultural institution which respects the Presidential directives and has at all material times promised to co-operate with the police in all its investigations and work. The Kingdom will, at an appropriate time when the COVID-19 restrictions and bans are lifted by Government, take up the matter and resolve it with the Police at Sembabule as was communicated earlier.
LETTER COPIED TO:
Hon. Esther Mbayo (The Minister In charge of the Presidency Office ofThe President-Kampala), The Principal Private Secretary to HE The President Of Uganda, Katikiro Buganda Kingdom, Attorney General of The Republic Of Uganda,,The Director Of Public Prosecutions and The Inspector General of Police.
Other copies to: The Principal Private Secretary to the Kabaka, Minister of State for Local Government Buganda Kingdom, The Director of CID, The Regional CID officer Greater Masaka, The District Police Comander for Sembabule, The Chief Admirtistraive officer Sembabule, The District lnte’rhal Security Officer Sembabule, Owesaza Muteesa, The Deputy Owesaza and the District CID officer Sembabule.
KABAKA’S LAND NOT FOR SALE – BLB
According to Buganda Land Board (BLB) official, all district leadership in Buganda were educated about Kabaka’s land and they understood.
“We told them about Central government Attorney General’s clarification about local Government and other Government institutions occupying Kabaka’s land. In his letter, the learned Attorney General clarified that land and buildings which were returned to Kabaka in 2013 are in the hands of Buganda Kingdom. Therefore, nothing can be carried out on this land without Kabaka’s permission.” Say BLB official, adding, “Government Attorney General wisely advised that, if local government or other government institutions want to use Kabaka’s land or buildings, they can buy this land, get a lease or leave it.”
“But, with the first option, Kabaka’s land is not for sale. But it can be leased following an agreement between the two parties. Sembabule District leaders, were written to by Buganda Attorney General and they verily know, the land they occupy, title is with the Kabaka. They got warnings on tresspassing on Kabaka’s land but they have used the lockdown moment to defiantly construct on Kabaka’s land.” BLB official has told The News Editor Media
Head said, “We are going to sue, we will alert Auditor General who monitors local government funds to investigate this issue. We will use all legal avenues to make sure, Kingdom properties are not lost during lockdown and also that, no one can defiantly grab it’s land and other properties like it was then.”
DISTRICT FINANCE COMMITTEE INVITE NAKALEMA
We have been reliably infomed, Sembabule district Finance committee have denied ever passing funds to construct a district canteen.
“We want Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, Head State House Anti Corruption Unit to investigate how the 40M shillings allegedly exchanged hands to make this canteen project go on.” Said District councilors.