Buganda Land Board (BLB) — Buganda Kingdom’s land management agency has refuted claims that former Deputy Katikkiro of the kingdom Apollo Makubuya allocated himself land that was allegedly donated by Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi to Ambassador Matia Lubega, the former Executive Director of the Kabaka Foundation.
Recently, Ambassador Lubega dragged Makubuya, Mengo minister Kiwalabye Male and BLB, to the High Court over land which he said was a “gift” to him from the Kabaka.
Through his lawyers Kituuma-Magala and Company Advocates, Ambassador Lubega states that when he retired from active service of the Kabaka, Ssabasajja gave him land as a token of appreciation for the work he had rendered the kingdom.
He says Kabaka instructed his officials to transfer the land to him. However, he never received the land despite following up from relevant departments.
Mr Lubega’s lawyers say their client later found out that the said land had been transferred to Mr Makubuya under unclear circumstances which enraged him.
The lawyers added that Ambassador Lubega filed the case to court after failing over the last many years to have his land returned to him by Makubuya through other channels.
The land in question is situated on Block 268 Plot 475 Kyadondo in the upscale Lubowa neighborhood along Entebbe Road. The land is valued at about Shs5.3 billion.
However, according to Dennis Bugaya, the BLB Spokesperson Makubuya never allocated the said land to himself but rather he legally purchased it.
“Owek.Makubuya was not allocated land by the Kabaka as has been alleged by a cross section of the online publications neither did he allocate himself land but rather purchased an already existing leasehold interest from a leaseholder by the names of Kabiswa,” said Mr Bugaya.
“However since this matter has already been filed in court, it is subjudice to discuss its merits. The details are contained in the defence that was filed in response to the plaint.”
Makubuya, Kiwalabye and BLB court defence:
Makubuya has since denied Lubega’s allegations against him thus claiming the land in question legally belongs to him.
“The 3rd Defendant [Makubuya] is the registered proprietor of the land comprised in LRV 4510 Folio 7 being a lease from Kyadondo Block 268 of 275 for a period of forty-nine(49) years from 1st January 2004 (the land),” Makubuya said through his lawyers MMAKS Advocates.
“The 3rd defendant purchased the land from its former registered proprietor , Mr Eriya Kabiswa on 3rd January 2008. Mr Eriya Kabiswa had been granted a lease on the land by the 1st defendant [BLB] for a period of five years from 1st January, 2004. Therefore the 3rd defendant purchased the land from Mr Eriya Kabiswa in the 4th year of the lease.”
Makubuya further denied to have had any knowledge of Lubega’s alleged interest in the land at the time he purchased the land.
“The 3rd defendant takes particular exception to the allegation that he dubiously caused the grant of the lease to the land in his favour by virtue of his position in the Buganda Kingdom. The 3rd defendant shall put the plaintiff [Lubega] to strict proof of that allegation,” Makubuya’s lawyers said in their client’s defence in December, 2019.
In their submission, the lawyers asked the High Court to dismiss Lubega’s suit with costs.
On the other hand, Buganda Minister Kiwalabye and BLB also denied Ambassador Lubega’s claim against them saying that the alleged promise of allocation of land by the Kabaka of Buganda in favour of the plaintiff is not an enforceable contract capable of giving rise to a cause of action against the 1st and 2nd defendants [BLB, Kiwalabye].
“The 1st and 2nd defendants contend that in the unlikely event that there was a valid enforceable contract between the plaintiff and the Kabaka of Buganda, the 1st and 2nd defendants were not privy to the said arrangement and they cannot be sued on the said agreement,” Kiwalabye and BLB said through Buganda Land Board Legal Department.
“The 1st defendant further contends that the remedy of specific performance is not available in favour of the plaintiff since granting the same will prejudice the rights and legal interest of a 3rd party who acquired the suit property in good faith.”
BLB and Kiwalabye also asked High Court to dismiss Lubega’s suit against them with costs.
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