Saturday March 15 2014

Besigye land faces auction

By Anthony Wesaka


Former leader of the Forum for Democratic Change party Kizza Besigye has petitioned the High Court seeking to recover his land worth Shs200m which is facing auctioning.
In his complaint to the High Court’s Land Division on February 27, Dr Besigye says he is the registered owner of plot 9 on Republic Road in Rukungiri Town.

What Besigye wants
He wants court to compel SIL Investments Limited, which is claiming ownership of the land, to return his land title and order the company out of the property.
Dr Besigye has jointly sued the company, with Johnston Kapesha, who took the loan.
However, on February 10, 2009, SIL Investments moved in and imposed a caveat on Dr Besigye’s land on behalf of the defunct Uganda Co-operative bank and demanded that Dr Besigye pays the debt before regaining possession.

Tenants affected
Court records indicate that SIL Investments has even threatened to evict Dr Besigye’s tenants and that some of them have already vacated, resulting in heavy financial loss to him.
Additionally, Dr Besigye claims that the company, through its agent Pearl Inter Agencies, has already made radio announcements inviting bids for the sale of the land by auction.
Court has fixed March 17 to hear Dr Besigye’s application for a temporary injunction to block SIL Investments from selling his land until court concludes his main case.

According to court records, the problem began in 1998 when Mr Kapesha approached Dr Besigye for help on how he could boost his business in Rukungiri Town.

Records show that Dr Besigye wrote a letter to the manager of the defunct Co-operative Bank Rukugiri Branch, guaranteeing a Shs10 million loan for Kapesha and another person, Elias Bahati. Subsequently, Dr Besigye appointed Mr Kapesha and Bahati as his attorneys to take possession of and use the land title to secure the loan.
Kapesha is now a mobiliser of the ruling National Resistance Movement.
The loan was granted to the two borrowers after the certificate of title had been deposited with the bank on August 20, 1998.

However, Dr Besigye notes in his suit that Mr Kapesha defaulted on payment in 1999 and in the same year, the bank was placed under receivership by the Central Bank and subsequently closed.
At the time of the bank’s closure, Mr Kapesha was indebted up to Shs5.9 million and Dr Besigye says the former did not make any further payments, which effectively endangered his land, which is now facing auction.