The Commission Chairperson Lady Justice, Catherine Bamugemereire told Merian that she should be worried that she carried herself as a Landlady whereas she isn’t. Merian Ssebunya took over land in the names of Kiwe and Sajjabi Company Limited.
The Uganda Road Fund Board Chairperson, Merian Kemigisha
Ssebunya posed as a landlady to take over 1479.10 acres of land in Kassanda
District, the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Commission heard on Tuesday.
Merian Ssebunya reportedly took over land in Kitagonerwa and Kabakonjo Village in Kalwana Sub County in the names of Kiwe and Sajjabi Company Limited.
to a certificate of title before the Commission, the Company bought 1479.10
acres of land in 1976 from Ibrahim Sande Kikomeko at Shillings 10.000.
The company was owned by Merian Ssebunya's
father-in-law, Isa Kiwe Ssebunya, Zakariya Sajjabi Bukenya, AbdulJamal Jiwani
and Habib Jiwani.
Between 2008 and 2009, Merian Ssebunya went to the
land claiming ownership. She evicted multiple people she accused of being
While appearing before the Commission, Commissioner
Dr. Rose Nakayi asked Merian Ssebunya if indeed she is a Landlady considering
that she is not part of the company and has no document appointing her to
represent the company.
The witness said
she would have to be educated on the matter.
The Commission Chairperson Lady Justice, Catherine
Bamugemereire told Merian that she should be worried that she carried herself
as a Landlady whereas she isn’t.
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In her response, Merian Ssebunya, said that her
father in law Isa Kiwe Ssebunya asked her to use the land to keep animals since
that was his dream.
She started operations on the land keeping cattle
and goats and carried out operations as the Landlady.
Complainants who appeared before the Commission
do not recognize Merian Ssebunnya as a Landlord. They say the land
belongs to the family of Zabuloni Bakyayita.
They however, say she has evicted over 300 households
since 2010 when she actively took over the land. They said many were evicted
without compensation while a few were coarsed into compensation.
They were asked to choose between accepting
little money as compensation or vacate the land without any pay.
Residents also accused Ssebunya of using security guards and
her former farm manager, Nicholas Kabagambe to torture them and destroy their
Commissioner Mary Ochan asked Sebunya to respond to the
allegations made by the residents. Ssebunya denied knowledge of any
misdoings and disowned any actions carried out by Kabagambe.
However, Ochan presented her a 2013 letter in, which her husband
awarded land to Kabagambe.
The letter signed by Ssebunya and her husband
Moses Kiwe Ssebunya, gave Kabagambe 200 hectares of land for
"successfully" dealing with Bibanja holders and evicting over 70
people from the land.
Ssebunya then changed her statement and said that maybe the
word "eviction" was wrongly used. She however couldn’t explain how it
could have been used in a document she endorsed.
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Ssebunya has also been accused by Kabagambe for taking over
the land given to him.
While appearing before the Commission, Kabagambe said Ssebunya
turned against him in 2016, lodged charges of trespass against him and also
took away his land.
Ssebunya said that the letter granting Kabagambe land was
just meant to boost his profile to be able to deal with people on the land.
Commissioner Robert Ssebunya dismissed her
argument because the condition of temporary ownership was not part of the
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The land is currently occupied by Ssebunya who holds it as a
Land Lady despite lacking any legal ownership of the land.
The directors of the
land that could have legal ownership have since died. There is no documentation
indicating that they passed over powers to Ssebunya.