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65-Year-Old Wakiso Resident Battles Relatives over Land Ownership

The woman; Maria Goretti Nakitende is accusing a section of her paternal relatives of plotting to evict her and her family, among them, her 86-year-old mother from the land which was given to them by her late grandfather in 1996.
Nakitende (second left) seated with her family members at her home at Bbulabakulu Village, Mmende Sub County in Wakiso

Audio 5

A 65-year-old woman in Bbulabakulu, Mmende Sub County in Wakiso District has appealed to authorities to prevail over her relatives and protect her on a 4-acre piece of land. 

The woman; Maria Goretti Nakitende is accusing a section of her paternal relatives of plotting to evict her and her family, among them, her 86-year-old mother from the land which was given to them by her late grandfather in 1996. 

She said that her late grandfather Muwanga Katende gave her the land with a written agreement which was later confirmed in his Will. The same Will also shares the rest of the land among other relatives. She narrates said that upon giving her the land in question the grandfather personally introduced her to the neighbours and local leadership in the area, and has now stayed on the land for 25 years. 

//Cue in; taata abo abantawanya… 

Cue out...nga kiyimiridde.”// 

But two years ago, her relatives started demanding a share of the same. Nakitende said that the group led by her uncles; Samson Ssemwogerere and Salongo Kibirango as well as her aunties Joyce Najjuma, Nakitende and Nabukalu reported the matter to the Local Council leadership which ruled in her favour.

They presented an intending buyer for the said land and asked her to release the original documents for which she objected. Subsequently, she narrates, the group destroyed her crops. She said that the matter was reported to the district and she was asked to pay 300,000 Shillings for the valuation of her crops which she failed to raise due to lack of income. 

The family has since reported a case of forgery against her at Kawempe Police Station where she was recently detained for 7-days. 

//Cue in; “nembagamba lwaki…  

Cue out...olemedde ebiwandiiko.”// 

Mariam Nabatanzi, one of the relatives described the actions of her siblings as greed and malice. She explains that she witnessed their late father signing an agreement that gave Nakitende the 4-acres and that her siblings were equally given their shares in Kawempe, which they have since sold off.

//Cue in...nze senga we… 

Cue out...namukolera endagaano.”//

Local council leaders at the village and sub-county level who initially intervened in the family wrangle appealed to higher authorities to save the old woman reasoning that she is incapacitated financially. 

Ivan Ssebunya, the area chairperson said that the area leadership have since decided on the matter in favour of Nakitende but her relatives are using the police and higher offices to deprive her of the property. 

//Cue in...okusinziira ku… 

Cue out...okumuvunaana.”//                

He said that the action of Nakitende’s relatives is in defiance of the leadership and that they are using impunity to torment her. 

Lawrence Kayongo, another leader described the fight as unfortunate and added that the area leaders have known Nkaitende for more than two decades as the rightful owner of the land but her relatives are using underhand methods to fight her. 

Mmende Sub County Vice Chairperson Mathias Birungi Ssemujju faulted the Police from Kawempe and Wakiso for acting unprofessionally and overlooking all the legal support that Nakitende has over the land. He said the matter was reported to the office of Resident District Commissioner – RDC but no action has ever been taken against suspects in the case of malicious damage to her crops 

//Cue in; "sijja kunenya… 

Cue out...mu ddaame."//

He appealed to the government to come in and save Nakitende from the relatives and land brokers who intend to grab her land through violence.