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Entebbe Mayor Dismisses Kaggwa's Lease Claims on Manyago Estate :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Entebbe Mayor Dismisses Kaggwa's Lease Claims on Manyago Estate

Rulinda, who called a press conference to address the issue, clarified that there were no lease offers outside the terms of the consent agreement reached with the tenants in court three years ago.
Mayo Rulinda addressing a press conference yesterday.

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Entebbe Municipality Mayor Fabrice Rulinda has reassured occupants of Manyago village, who are occupying municipal council properties, of the security of their occupancy. He dismissed any threats of eviction as reported in the media over the weekend. Rulinda, who called a press conference to address the issue, clarified that there were no lease offers outside the terms of the consent agreement reached with the tenants in court three years ago.

The clarification follows a press conference held last week by Stanley Okecho, an advocate with GEM Advocates, and some affected residents who expressed concerns about potential eviction after learning that the municipal council had supposedly issued a lease to one Kaggwa Sseggujja Bugembe for 49 years. Rulinda, accompanied by leaders of the Manyago Tenants Association (MTA), expressed concern that last week’s presser did not include leaders of the association. 

He invited Kaggwa to provide any proof of legal interest in the land and to sue the council if necessary. The mayor stated that he had never met Kaggwa but had received a call from him the previous night requesting a meeting, which Rulinda expressed willingness to hold as long as it took place in the council office.

Rulinda

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He challenged Kaggwa to seek legal recourse if he genuinely held an interest in the land and the council failed to provide him with vacant possession. Rulinda also urged Kaggwa to identify the individuals he dealt with to obtain the alleged lease. Efforts to contact Kaggwa via the provided phone number were unsuccessful. 

Rulinda pointed out various inconsistencies in Kaggwa’s alleged lease documents and emphasized that under his leadership, he would not allow anyone to displace sitting tenants in violation of court orders. The issue of the Manyago estate land has been ongoing for approximately twenty years, with challenges arising from a joint project between the Ugandan and Indian governments to develop the Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre. 

However, issues of compensation and relocation for sitting tenants complicated the project, leading to the withdrawal of the Indian government's involvement. The land in question measures approximately fifteen acres, and the houses on it were deemed unfit for habitation over a decade ago. A consent court order issued in 2019 obliges the council to conduct a valuation of the land and offer the sitting tenants the first opportunity to purchase.

The sitting Town Clerk, Emmanuel Mugisha Gacharo, stated that he has reminded the Government Chief Valuer (GCV) to facilitate the valuation process, but it has not yet been completed. As it stands, the tenants cannot undertake any development, and the council cannot engage in any transactions outside the terms of the court order. 

Rulinda clarified that any lease or sale authorization would require involvement from Wakiso district authorities. During the press conference, a lease agreement purportedly signed in 2011 was presented, indicating discrepancies in the terms and signatures. 

Rulinda questioned the authenticity of the lease and stressed the importance of tenant unity in protecting their interests. At the conference, attended by local council vice-chairman Galubaale Peter and MTA members, Rulinda emphasized the need for the Government Chief Valuer to provide the property's value to resolve the Manyago issue.