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Widow Drags Late Husband’s Concubine to Land Probe for Stealing Family Land

The Widow, Grace Birabwa Namutebi Isharaza, told the commission today that Kekimuli took over a family ranch which she and her husband purchased in 1982, in kemiyoga, Kashari. She says the family had used the land to keep cattle, grow food and plant a forest.
Grace Birabwa Namutebi alongside her lawyer Henry Nyegenye while at Land probe in Wandegeya

Audio 4

A widow has petitioned the land probe to help her secure her 88 acres of land forcibly taken over by one Edith Kekimuli, a concubine of her late husband; professor William Kabampene Isharaza. 

The Widow, Grace Birabwa Namutebi Isharaza, told the commission today that Kekimuli took over a family ranch which she and her husband purchased in 1982, in kemiyoga, Kashari.  She says the family had used the land to keep cattle, grow food and plant a forest.  

However, Birabwa explained that in 1989, her husband obtained a loan from Uganda Commercial Bank-UCB to further develop the ranch and used the land as collateral. He, however, failed to service the loan which stood at 58 million Shillings by 1996. 

The loan was subsequently passed over to the Non-performing Assets Recovery Trust, NPART, an institution established to recover loans taken by individuals and Institutions from UCB and Uganda Development Bank. 

When the land was auctioned, Birabwa bid to buy it at 20 million shillings and received a transfer in 2014. However, the title remained in her husband’s name even at the time of his demise in 2016. 

In the aftermath, a lawyer only identified as Kanduho informed the family of a will in his possession which surrendered the land and their residential house to Kekimuli. Kekimuli took over the ranch in August 2016 and evicted all caretakers employed by the deceased.    

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Birabwa contests the Will which was reportedly written by her late husband Prof. William Isharaza. She based her contention on a laboratory report from the Uganda police Directorate of Forensic services which identified several differences between the signature on the will and a standard specimen signature of 1992. She says that the will had multiple spelling errors and some cases wrong names of their children.

Laboratory findings revealed differences in letter formations, letter designs, nature and size of loop formations and spacing between letters. The signature on the will was declared highly unlikely to belong to the deceased.  

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Birabwa is also questioning circumstances under which Stanbic Bank, which had taken over UCB upon privatization, released a mortgage under the name of William Isharaza.

Stanbic Bank reportedly used a Statutory Instrument that indicated that she had no objection to the land maintaining its registered proprietorship under William. This implied that the title would stay in the names of William Isharaza and could not be transferred to Grace Birabwa. 

Birabwa, however, says that the statutory Instrument that Stanbic used to release the mortgage was not authentic.  She adds that she had already acquired a certificate of transfer from NPART part and was in the process of registering the ranch under her children's names. 

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Herbert Kwikiriza, who was team leader of NPART in his testimony, said that Stanbic Bank had no mandate to release a mortgage. He says that when UCB was taken up by Stanbic Bank, Isharaza’s non-performing loan had been handed over to NPART. He says the release of the mortgage was abnormal and illegal. 

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The commission has now summoned the Managing Director of Stanbic Bank Uganda Patrick Mweheire to explain the questionable mortgage.