Govt to pay Shs50b for misleading land report

A lady checks out the features on her land title. Studying the features on a land title before engaging in a land transaction is one of the things a buyer can do to avoid being duped. PHOTOs/Ismail kezaala

What you need to know:

  • The report, court documents indicate, led Henley Property Developers into purchasing land from a wrong dealer. The land under contention measures 882.39-acre and is located in Buganda, Mengo, Kyagwe.

The government has failed to block a compensation order of more than Shs50b after its agent - the registrar at Mukono Land Office - issued a wrong land search report to a property dealer.

The report, court documents indicate, led Henley Property Developers into purchasing land from a wrong dealer. The land under contention measures 882.39-acre and is located in Buganda, Mengo, Kyagwe.

Court documents indicate that on September 5, 2016, the Commissioner Land Registration cancelled Henley’s title, which prompted the property dealer to institute a case against the Attorney General (AG), in which it prayed for compensation for blunders made by its agents.

The land, court documents indicate, was later found to be owned by Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited, but had fraudulently been claimed by Filomero Nantume Nakalema and Manjeri Nabunjo Kiwanuka, who later sold it to Henley at Shs6.5b.    

In a May 10, 2021 judgement, Justice Wamala J of the Civil Division of the High Court ruled in favour of Henley, awarding the property dealer Shs50b for loss of business and interest on the compensation at l5 percent from the date of filing.

 However, government appealed the judgement on grounds that the trial Judge had erred, noting that the vendors, who included Ms Nakalema and Ms Nabunjo Kiwanuka had a valid certificate of title.

Government also noted that the trial Judge had erred by ordering compensation of Shs50b because there was insufficient evidence to justify that Henley had paid Shs6.5b as purchase price.

However, in reply Henley, acting through Mr Enoth Mugabi submitted that the trial Judge had rightly considered evidence, which indicated that Henley had searched the land with the Register on three occasions and was given similar results, which indicated that vendors’ certificate of title was valid.  

Mr Mugabi also noted that Henley had been informed by the vendor that the sugarcane on the suit land had been illegally planted by Scoul, which had been sued in the High Court in Jinja to ensure that it gives vacant possession of the land. 

However, the suit was later withdrawn without the knowledge of Henley.

Consequently, Mugabi noted that Justice Wamala had properly handled all evidence and found that there was negligence of duty on the part of government.

Therefore, the three-judge panel led by Cristopher Gashirabake agreed with the trial Judge, noting that Henley had been deprived of an opportunity to invest and generate profits thus warranting an award of compensation for lost commercial opportunities.

The other judges include Justice Elizabeth Musoke and Justice Eva K Luswata.

Ruling

Deprived of opportunities

The three-judge panel led by Cristopher Gashirabake agreed with the trial Judge, noting that Henley had been deprived of an opportunity to invest and generate profits thus warranting an award of compensation for lost commercial opportunities.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.