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Church Still Struggling to Reclaim Ntawo Land

The Church owns 649.2 acres of land donated to it by the family of the late Ham Mukasa in 1921. However, its ownership was later transferred to Bishop Tucker Theological College, present-day Uganda Christian University-UCU.
The exact place where the Archbishop Stanely Ntagali and other 38 bishops of the Church of Uganda survived lynching by encroachers on church land.

Audio 2

The Church of Uganda is struggling to reclaim its land located at Ntawo, Mukono Central Division, three years after encroachers attacked the Archbishop and 38 Bishops who were touring the site. 

The Church owns 649.2 acres of land donated to it by the family of the late Ham Mukasa in 1921. However, its ownership was later transferred to Bishop Tucker Theological College, present-day Uganda Christian University-UCU. 

But a big portion of it is now occupied by encroachers, many of who have built permanent structures; commercial and residential houses, equally claiming ownership over the same land. Records show that the area now has more than 1,000 settlers.  

Mukono Diocesan Bishop James William Ssebaggala says that amidst all the struggles, the church efforts to reclaim its land have been frustrated by the presence of government officials on the land. Some of the government officials who settled on the same land include, among others, State Minister for Water Ronald Kibuule, Gen Proscovia Nalweyiso, MP Aidah Nantaba and former MP Anthony Mukasa. 

Bishop Ssebaggala says that some of the political leaders are discouraging other settlers from vacating the land or even accepting compensation by the Church. About 300 tenants have been compensated. But the Bishop says the Church needs to be supported to reclaim its portion.     

//Cue in; “Oveeri oli nakugamba…

Cue out…kibeera kiyamu nyo.”//   

Several residents say that they acquired the land through proper channels.  David Ngomu, one of the residents suggests that the Church should negotiate land fees with the settlers instead of evicting them after so many years of occupancy.  Another resident, Paulo Mubiru says the Church needs to be considerate because none of the occupants settled in the area without buying the land.

“One may think that some Ugandans are foreigners in their own country because even the Church is after us, this land belongs to my father, I was born from here and it where we have always practised farming since childhood” 

Luganda //Cue in; “Ffe tuli kunsi… 

Cue out…era nze mulabirira”//   

The LCI Chairperson of Ntawo Moses Male Byekwaso notes that many of his residents are finding difficulty abandoning their life, heritage and properties worth millions of shillings to start a new journey elsewhere. 

However, State Minister for Water Ronald Kibuule disputes allegations that government officials are fueling tenants to resist the Church. 

"Where someone doesn't hold a land title there must be a landlord. Tenants are expected to pay respect to that landlord whereas the landlord is also expected to fairly treat the tenants. We, therefore, need to work together to ensure that everyone's goals are realized." Kibuule says.