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KABAKA VS MABIRIZI: Court Accepts To Hear Mabirizi’s Shs13bn Claims From Kabaka

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Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II (L) and Male Mabirizi (inset)

Court of Appeal judge Kenneth Kakuru has allowed the court of Appeal to hear an application filed by city lawyer Male Mabirizi claiming Shs13bn from Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, the Kabaka of Buganda. Kakuru dismissed submissions from Christopher Bwanika, Kabaka’s lead counsel that the court of Appeal is wasting its time to hear Mabirizi’s application for costs of shs13bn. “My lord, this is total waste of Court’s time because a panel of justices of this Court declared that the suit before you didn’t have merit before the law and dismissed it with costs. So, my lord, it is illegal since the main suit was dismissed with Costs to the respondent,” Bwanika submitted.

Bwanika added that High Court Judge Peter Adonyo also dismissed the case. However, the applicant Mabirizi insisted that his application was properly filled before the court of Appeal. He added that the reason why they are before Court is to determine whether his case has merit before the law.

“My lord, we are here for court to determine whether my Appeal in law stands, why doesn’t Mr. Bwanika want the application to be heard?” he submitted. Justice Kakuru asked Bwanika to confirm whether they have appealed against Justice Patricia Basaaza Wasswa’s order against Kabaka to discover all the land titles returned to Buganda from Central government since 1993, Bank accounts where money collected by Buganda Land Board is deposited and the number of people sitting on the kingdom’s land. Bwanika admitted that it’s true they appealed against the order; he was then asked by Kakuru whether they withdraw their appeal before hearing.

He accepted that they withdrew the appeal. The judge then said that the court has locus the hear Mabirizi’s claim of shs13bn for costs because they were awarded to him by a competent court after Kabaka refused to disclose to him his wealth.  He said that the hearing of the application shall start in January 2018 before three justices of the court of appeal. Mabirizi is also still battling in supreme court to see that it nullifies what the three justices of the Court of appeal, led by justice Egonda Ntende did when they dismissed his suit due to lack of merit before the law. Justice Adonyo based on this judgement to dismiss Mabirizi’s case which was at the high court where he claims that the Kabaka is not the owner of the kingdom’s land and he is just a trustee keeping it for Baganda. He also wanted Court to order Kabaka to return all rent collected from tenants on the kingdom’s land.

 

By Jamil Lutakome

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Police Extends Zaake’s Criminal Summons After He Fails To Turn UP.

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Police at the Crime Investigations Department (CID) Kibuli has today extended the criminal summons of Mityana Municipality MP Hon. Francis Zaake Butebi after his lawyer Nicolas Opiyo informed them that his health condition was still poor and he couldn’t make it.

Counsel Nicolas Opiyo told this website that police had accepted the terms and agreed to extend his criminal summons to the 3rd of December.

Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake told this website on Sunday that he had been summoned to appear before the police’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters in Kibuli on Wednesday to be questioned on possible charges of escaping from police custody and treason.

Mr. Zaake further told this website that he had received the summons and would turn up for questioning. He however, described the act of the police as “reckless and traumatising” because he was still recovering from “physical and psychological wounds” that he suffered during the chaos that happened in the lead up to the Arua Municipality by-election in August.

 

By Remmy Atugonza

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REVEALED: How NRM Mobiliser Maama Kisanja Connived With Senior Lands Officials To Grab Land From A Full Village

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Luella Ataro being grilled by the commission

The Commission of inquiry into land matters has unearthed how a racket of ministry of lands officers connived with NRM mobilizer Peninah Kalenge Busingye alias Maama Kisanja and her daughter Natasha Kalenge to grab villages in Namavundu sub county Wakiso District.

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the chairperson of the Commission revealed that the Commission has established that the entire fraudulent transaction of the land was masterminded by senior officers in the ministry of lands.

She wondered how the entire process was worked on during the festive season of 2016. She gave an example that on 29th December 2016, the senior Registrar land registration Luella Ataro approved to the Commissioner land Registration to issue a special certificate of land title to Peninah Kalenge without making due diligence.

Bamugemereire added that in the same period, Ataro sent request to Dr. Joseph Batume, the Wakiso District staff surveyor for a deep plan on the controversial land and asked him to issue instruction to survey the land.  She disclosed that Batume immediately responded to all the requests without ascertaining them. She further revealed that Ataro also didn’t follow the normal procedure that when someone applies for special certificate of the land title, the registrar has to wait for 30 days after an announcement is done in the national gazette.

She said that within five days, before Ataro received the application for the special certificate of the land title, it was already issued in the names of Peninah Kalenge. She showed Ataro an application made by Natasha and her mother which read that the land title was misplaced and they needed a special certificate of the land title for the immediate transaction on the land.

She said that Ataro, Batume and Venansio Ajero, the Wakiso District cartographer were the beneficiaries of the Shs4.7bn Natasha allegedly used in the process of obtaining the title fraudulently.

Bamugemereire was supported by Ebert Byenkya, the Commission’s lead Counsel who revealed that immediately after issuing the special certificate of land title, sub divisions were done and over 60 other land titles were fraudulently created.

He said that Ataro also issued a special certificate of the land title well knowing that all the plots which were created in 1999 on the mother certificate of the land title were made in handwriting.

He added that Ataro headed the entire scum from the Ministry. After reporting the loss of the certificate of the mother title; fraudulent plots were created in the kalamazu when they were not indicated in the title made in 1999.

He said that the new plots created by Ataro were measuring over 184 hectares in the names of Kalenge. In her defense, Ataro told the Commission that she was not aware of the scum and she got to know about it last week when she met Natasha. She said that Natasha told her that the special certificate of the land title she processed for her had problems.

Commissioner Mary Ochan asked her to tell the Commission where she met Natasha and what they were planning to do.

Ataro said she found Natasha in the office of Vaniey Lutaaya, a government surveyor.  She said that on 29th December 2016, the date she issued a new special certificate of the land title to Kalenge, she was in office on orders of the permanent secretary Ministry of lands and whatever she implemented, she was following the information given to her by Wakiso District land office.

On the issue of not following the 30 days announcement in the gazette, she said that it was an oversight and asked for forgiveness. She told the Commission that her powers in the land registration department in the ministry of lands were reduced from approving the issuing of land titles and now she is only handling the Complaints desk in the department.

Commissioner Robert Ssebunya told her that she masterminded the whole scum and put the suffering of poor Ugandans on her. Ataro told the Commission that she is going to write to the Commission land registration to cancel the certificate of the land title because it was issued fraudulently.

She said that she is going to tender in her letter tomorrow Wednesday and she will copy in the Commission to fulfill her commitment.  Justice Bamugemereire also ordered Ataro to bring to the Commission her passport.  The Commission also grilled Wakiso District staff surveyor Joseph Batume who issued the instruction to survey the land which does not exist.

 

By Jamil Lutakome

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Supreme Court Sets Date To Determine Speaker Kadaga’s Fate Over Age-Limit Removal

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The Supreme Court has set the date to hear an application filed by City Lawyer Male Mabirizi seeking Court to order Rebecca Kadaga the speaker of parliament  to appear before the Court for cross-examination.

According to the statement issued by Opefeni Ogwadiya, the registrar supreme Court, the seven justices are set to kick off the hearing on 12th December 2018.  In his application, Mabirizi challenges the decision of the five justices of the Constitutional Court headed by Alfonso Owinyi Dolo who reject his application for Kadaga to appear before the Court for cross examination.

He stated that during conferencing on the matter in the court of appeal, he asked Dolo, who was chairing the process that he wanted Kadaga to appear in the dock. He further stated that Kaahwa Christine the acting Director for civil litigation in the chambers of the Attorney General told Dolo to give him more time to file the affidavit of the speaker who was out of the country.

Mabirizi said that with such submission, he thinks that the court was going to allow him crossexamine Kadaga because she was at the center of controversy which Dolo rejected.  He said that he was only served with affidavits of Jane Kibirige the clerk to parliament, UPDF commander Gen David Muhoozi and Keith Muhakanizi, the secretary to the treasury.

“That consequently, before hearing of the Constitutional petition, intended to examine the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga so that the court can be able to ascertain her true role in the entire process relating the constitutional amendment Act 2 of 2017,” Mabirizi stated. The court will first hear this application before the main appeal in January 2017.

 

By Jamil Lutakome

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