Muslims, foreigners clash over town land
Posted Thursday, February 21 2013 at 18:49
About 60 Muslims on Tuesday stormed Entebbe Mayor’s office asking the Municipal Council to allocate them a disputed piece of land in the heart of the town.
The land, located on plot 43/54 on Portal Road and stretches about 5.2 acres, according to Muslims, was given to them by former president Idi Amin to construct a mosque in 1977, while Asians claim that they bought it from the Indian Club of Entebbe, and have since obtained its lease.
Investigations by this newspaper show that the Asians under RWS Enterprises Limited, wanted to develop the land since 2008, but the Muslims blocked the move, prompting the Asians to go to court and sue Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC). The judgment was passed in the Asians favour.
The Muslims then appealed the judgment in the High Court land division, but soon after, the UMSC wrote a letter denying any interest in the case.
“We wish to inform you that we do not have intensions of prosecuting the above miscellaneous application and civil appeal, nor have we instructed Ms Kibeedi and Co. Advocates to represent UMSC,” read a letter signed by Sheikh Mohmood Kibaate, the deputy Supreme Mufti of the Kibuli sect, then the Mpigi District secretary general UMSC, to the deputy registrar of the High Court Land Division.
Recently in a meeting held at Entebbe Municipal Council, the Muslims led by Entebbe MP Mohamed Kawuma, said the Council should give them a formal letter granting them the disputed land. But the Mayor, Mr Vincent Kayanja, objected, saying his office had no powers to give them the said land.
“I have grown up in Entebbe knowing that land belongs to Muslims. However, I have no power to give away this land because it’s only the District Land Board that gives leases on public land,” Mr Kayanja told the visibly excited Muslim youth.
Sheikh Kibaate, however, said he wrote the letters with guidance from UMSC secretary general to protect the land and other Muslim properties.