Former Kira Municipality Mayor Mamerito Mugerwa told the Commission that those who were in charge of the land acquisition process were not transparent in their dealings with bonafide land owners in Namboole area. He said officials from Uganda Land Commission and the Ministry of Land wanted residents to surrender their land titles without compensation.
The land acquisition process
for the establishment of Mandela National Stadium, Namboole was marred by fraud,
witnesses have today told the Commission of inquiry into Land matters.
They said that instead of compensating tentants for their properties, the government has turned around
to declare them encroachers on the property.
Former Kira Municipality Mamerito Mugerwa, one of the affected persons, told the Commission that those
who were in charge of the land acquisition process were not transparent in
their dealings with bonafide land owners who owned properties in Namboole area. He said officials from Uganda Land Commission and the Ministry of Lands wanted residents to surrender their land titles without compensation.
officials from Uganda Land Commission who spearheaded the process coerced or
tricked residents to surrender their land titles before adequate compensation
had been paid.
This, he said, set in motion a vicious cycle of tension which
culminated into several legal suits against the government and the Uganda Land
//Cue in; “Those who
came to compensate…
Cue out: “….what
would you call such people”//
According to Mugerwa,
some of the suits are still in court, more than 30 years since the
development of the National Stadium started. He said as a victim himself, he
was paid a paltry 1.3 million Shillings for an undisclosed part of his property
located on block Block 234 plot 264 on which his Hotel sits today. He has
contested the matter in court seeking more compensation.
Mamerito says that he refused to sign transfer forms for the said property when Uganda
Land Commission wanted to prematurely pick his land title from him, like it did
to other residents.
before the commission on Monday afternoon to describe for commissioners the
process of land acquisition in the country. He said Management of Namboole
National Stadium has since turned around to brand him and others encroachers on
to the National Stadium land for which they were never compensated adequately.
//Cue in; “They were
He told the
Commission that he is willing to surrender the property to the government if his
interests are met through addition of more money.
Norah Nabagesera, 80, another aggrieved witness who appeared before the commission said that officials of the Uganda Land Commission ended up pocketing
the bulk of her compensation money for her husband’s property measuring 14
acres, 400 decimals located on plot 263 in 1989 when the process for the acquisition
of land for building the stadium begun. She accuses Uganda Land Commission of
retaining most of her compensation money for that family property.
Nabagesera, she is still demanding compensation for another 16 acres of land on
plot 249 on which the Namboole Police station and the Market as well as the
stadium sits. She says her family owned the land customarily as a Mailo Land,
following the death of her husband Crespo Kitaka as the administrator of the
She told the Commission
that she dragged Uganda Land Commission to court after realizing that her land
was no longer a Mailo land but a freehold registered in the names of Uganda
Land Commission in 2017.
Her lawyer Erick
Muhwezi says Nabagesera secured a court decree cancelling the titles of Uganda
Land Commission after establishing that the Commission acquired the property fraudulently.
According to the High
Court Decree dated August 22, 2017, Justice Godfrey Namundi ordered the registrar
of titles to cancel interests of Uganda Land Commission on the land and reinstate
Nabagesera and her family.
The Commission has
since written to Court to set aside the ruling for it to prove its interests in
The Land Commission
of Inquiry chaired by Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemeriere says amongst others,
it is interested in uncovering the mysteries behind government land acquisition
On Tuesday, the
commission will continue to listen to testimonies from former Mayor of Kira
Municipality Mamerito Mugerwa.