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Supreme Court Declines to Halt Buganda Ground Rent Collections :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Supreme Court Declines to Halt Buganda Ground Rent Collections

The Supreme Court Judge Dr Esther Kisakye has declined to halt the ground rent collections in Buganda Kingdom.
A team of Kabaka's lawyers led by Christopher Bwanika the Attorney General of Buganda Kingdom at Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court Judge Dr Esther Kisakye has declined to halt the ground rent collections in Buganda Kingdom.    

Justice Kisakye did not, however, give reasons arguing that she will give her reasons in a formal typed ruling.   

The ruling on Thursday afternoon rose from an interim application that was filed against Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II by Male Mabirizi in November 2019. Mabirizi asked court to block the ground rent collections pending determination of his appeal which is also seeking similar orders.

The ground rent is collected from all tenants living on Mailo Land by Buganda Land Board. But Mabirizi contends that Kabaka is only a trustee of the official Mailo land and that all charges in this regard are illegal.    

However, the application was coming up for hearing but court was unable to proceed since the lawyers representing the Kabaka led by Christopher Bwanika wanted to argue with written submissions but not oral.   

 As a result, the Judge adjourned the matter to February 12th 2020 for further hearing. But immediately after the adjournment, Mabirizi stood up again seeking a protective order blocking the Kingdom from collecting rent until the February 12th when they will be returning to court.  

 

He argued that the collection which started on November 18th 2019 was supposed to end on December 31st 2019 but the Kabaka extended it to January 31st 2020 before his application could be heard. He added that by the time they return to court, Kabaka will have completed the collection exercise.

But the team of nine lawyers who had been instructed by Kabaka to represent him argued that even a mere grant of a protection order for one hour will cause an irreversible and irreparable damage to the Kingdom of Buganda. 

In 2017 High Court Judge Patricia Basaza directed the Kabaka to provide Buganda Land Board bank statements from the year 1993 to help in backing up Mabirizi’s application filed in 2016 where he challenged the collection of land fees, commonly known as Busuulu.   

Basaza also ordered the Kabaka to provide the registration and details of all the people occupying the official Mailo land.

But her decision was challenged by Kabaka in the Court of Appeal through his lawyers and the panel of three judges led by Egonda Ntende overturned it.

As a result, Mabirizi appealed in the Supreme Court but his matter is pending hearing.



 

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