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Watoto Church Boss Pastor Skinner Implicated In Grabbing 10,000 Acres Of Land



Julius Rwotlony (in a white shirt) testifying before the commission, inset is pastor Skinner

Watoto church founder and leader, Pastor Gary Skinner has been implicated in grabbing 10,000 acres of land in Nwoya District.

This was revealed by Julius Rwotlony, the associated team leader Watoto church while testifying before the commission of inquiry into land matters. Rwotlony was first accused by the commission’s lead counsel Ebert Byenkya of hiding evidence from the commissioners on the way Watoto church was involved in the shoddy transaction of the Ker Bwomb clan land in Nwoya.

“Mr. Rwotlony, you told us that you are a senior pastor at Watoto church but its seems you are hiding something from this commission.

You told us that your lawyer handled the land in Nwoya, ask him who gave him instructions to enter into this business,” Byenkya quizzed Rwotlony.

However, Rwotlony insisted that on many occasions, as senior pastors, they don’t handle church business especially concerning property transactions. He testified that it’s their lawyers of Acadia and Company Advocates who handle such business and that they are better positioned to give better answers concerning the Nwoya land dispute.

Byenkya tasked him again to ask his lawyer Henry Nyegenya (who he came with) from Acadia and Company Advocates to tell him who gave his law firm permission to handle the transactions.

“My lord, you have put me in a tight situation, the Nwoya business was handled by the top management of the Church. This top council is headed by pastor Garry Skinner and he is the one who can testify on this matter properly,” Rwotlony submitted.

He denied that according to the documents they have in custody, they don’t own any land in Nwoya district.

This prompted Byenkya to warn him to stop telling the commission lies. He showed him a map which the commission got from the department of survey and mapping indicating that Watoto church owns 10,000 acres of land in Nwoya.

On seeing the map, Rwotlony admitted that it’s true they got instructions from Skinner to get land in Nwoya to develop the district.

He added that they instructed their lawyers to legally assist the Ker Bwomb clan in Nwoya to obtain land titles for their land.

Byenkya asked him to tell the commission how much the church has so far spent on facilitating these transactions. Rwotlony said that he didn’t know the amount so far spent since he does not work in the accounts department. He asked the commission to excuse him so that he goes back and asks the accountants. Byenkya squeezed Rwotlony to tell the commission what exactly the church is expecting in return to facilitating the locals process their land.

Byenkya later told him that a group of people from Ker Bwomb clan led by a one Silvino Kibota complained to the commission that their clan leader Rwot Ojok connived with Americans and Watoto church to grab land belonging to their clan.  He said that Watoto church lawyers advised Rwot Ojok to establish an association of Ker Bwomb trustees to manage the clan land on behalf of the entire clan.

Byenkya said that Kibota’s group think that Watoto is targeting their land by giving a few members of their clan a lot of money. He said that Watoto’s action have divided the Ker Bwomb clan members and everyone is now looking at the other as a thief.

Rwotlony defended their action and said that they were not aiming to disuniting the Ker Bwomb clan members but they only wanted to develop the area and since they discovered that there were misunderstandings, they decided to leave the land until the Ker Bwomb people resolve their misunderstandings.

Byenkya informed Rwotlony that the commission is still investigating the matter and very soon, through the chairperson of the Commission Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the commission will summon Skinner to testify on the matter.


By Jamil Lutakome



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



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



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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I won’t Give Up – Lukwago Nearly Cries After His Salary Compensation Case Was Push To 2019



Kampala City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago nearly broke down in tears after the Civil Division of the High court today failed to deliver a ruling in the case in which he wants government to pay his salary arrears for the time he was wrongly impeached and thrown out of office.

Lukwago, who had appeared before court expecting judgment in his favour was disappointed when the court clerk informed him that the judge will only be available next year.

“I am extremely disappointed because we are talking about a case of many years since the previous term of office 2011- 2016 and has been running through several judges including the retired deputy chief Justice Steven Kavuma.  Justice delayed is justice denied. We must receive justice when it is still sweet, but we have walked and walked court corridors and several courtrooms seeking justice,” a disappointed Lukwago told media.

He said that he will remain patient although this could not mask his disappointment. He added that his hands are now tied and all he can hope for is for justice to be delivered-in his favour.

Mr. Lukwago on 15th of March 2017 took KCCA to court, together with the Minister for Kampala, Ms Beti Kamya, the executive director, Ms Jennifer Musisi Ssemakula and the Attorney General in what seems to be a last resort after claiming for his emoluments amounting to Shs563 million without much success.

Mr. Lukwago was appointed Lord Mayor on March 14, 2011 after he garnered 64 percent of the votes cast and took oath on May20, 2011.

In November 2013 after a trial before the tribunal chaired by justice Catherine Bamugemerierwe, Lukwago was impeached through a process presided over by the then line minister Frank Tumwebaze by the Registrar Fred Waninda and Justice Yasin Nyanzi.

In defiance, Mr. Tumwebaze went on with presiding over the impeachment and the same was declared null and void by Justice Lydia Mugambe who also condemned Mr. Tumwebaze, Musisi, the AG and the Electoral Commission which had begun preparing a by-election.

Mr. Lukwago says that to date, Justice Mugambe’s order has never been set aside and that the 21-day single judge interim order by the deputy Chief Justice, Justice Steven Kavuma expired.

“The applicant has been subjected to psychological torture, mental anguish and emotional stress for which the first respondent [Kamya] is vicariously liable. The orders are necessary for the ends of justice to be met,” Lukwago’s plaint goes on.


By Remmy Atugonza


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