Shumuk, Drake Lubega in city property fight 

The land along Jinja Road after the Nakawa Spear Motors junction has for years been vacant save for a makeshift washing bay. It was fenced off recently before construction works started behind an improvised fence. Photo / Courtesy 

What you need to know:

  • The two-acre piece of land in question is located on the lower side of Spear Motors on Jinja Road in Nakawa and is sandwiched by car bonds and a City Oil fuel station on the opposite side, which also houses a Café Javas restaurant 

The Shumuk Group property run-ins never end. They always show up and occupy prime-time news and make headlines.   

The company’s protracted battles with the Katatumba family, and lately Bank of Baroda, among other financial institutions over property ownership and debt disputes, are so fresh that many Ugandans have become accustomed to them. 

Whereas it is difficult to understand the extent of their impact on the company, they have definitely had a toll that will take years to shake off.

Before the ink had dried on the Shumuk versus Bank of Baroda property battle, the company, which has several subsidiaries, is yet again engaged in another property battle over a two-acre piece of land in Kampala, Nakawa Industrial Area. 

The piece of land under dispute is located on plat 26 on Mukabya Road in Nakawa Industrial Area. 

It has been the subject of two separate court cases, with the first coming about 25 years ago and another just about three years ago, in 2021. 

It is difficult to estimate the value of the land but it is so prime that it sits on the lower end of Spear Motors on Jinja Road in Nakawa and is sandwiched by car bonds, warehouses and a City Oil fuel station on the opposite side, which also houses Café Javas 

For a long time, the land, just about 500 metres from one of the Shumuk Group factories, has largely remained undeveloped, save for a makeshift washing bay and an overgrown backyard. 

However, about three weeks ago, it was fenced off, and within a few days, construction works had begun behind an improvised iron sheet fence.   

Mukesh Shukla says that one of the Shumuk Group subsidiaries took possession of the two-acre piece of land in 1987. Photo / File 

Mr Mukesh Shukla, the Shumuk Group proprietor and chief executive officer, challenged what he called an illegal occupation for which court was yet to pronounce itself on who is the rightful owner. 

In a media briefing recently, Mr Mukesh accused a rival businessman of being behind the forceful takeover. 

However, we have omitted details of the businessman because we could not independently verify Mr Mukesh claims. 

But it is understood that Middle North Agencies, a subsidiary of Shumuk Group is currently engaged in a court battle with businessman Drake Lubega over ownership of the same land. 

In an application, filed before the Land Division of the High Court in December 2022, Middle North Agencies sought an order against Mr Lubega, noting that it was imperative that the respondent “is restrained from tampering with the applicant’s quiet possession and enjoyment of its property … pending determination of both the substantive application and the main suit”.  

Middle North Agencies had earlier in 2021 filed an application that was pending a hearing. The case has since remained in court with Middle North Agencies obtaining subsequent orders to stay any activity on the land. 

Last year on December 20, Middle North Agencies obtained an injunction from acting deputy registrar Josephine Kabasinguzi Kayondo, restraining Mr Lubega or his agents from tampering with the land in question until when an interim order, whose hearing had been fixed for January 9, 2024, had been heard.

“This matter coming up for hearing this [December 18, 2023] … is hereby ordered that pursuant to the provisions of section 98 of the CPA, an administrative interim order is hereby issued restraining the respondent entering upon, remaining upon, tampering with or dealing with the suit property comprised in plot M26 Mukabya Road situated at Nakawa, Kampala pending hearing of the application for an interim order that is fixed for hearing on January 20, 2024,” reads the order in part. 

De6tails in court indicate that businessman Drake Lubega also claims the land. Photo / File  

Documents before court further indicate that Middle North Agencies, which Mr Mukesh says is one of Shumuk’s pioneer subsidiaries, purchased the land in question in 1987, and has remained the rightful owner to-date. 

At a press briefing recently, Mr Mukesh said that Middle North Agencies, which was registered in the 80s had purchased the land in question and maintained its ownership after obtaining a free-hold title from Kampala Capital City Authority in 2015. 

This is not the first time Shumuk has struggled over ownership of the same property. 

Documents seen by Monitor indicate that Shumuk had the first run-ins on the same piece of land with the late businessman Haruna Semakula, of the defunct General Parts, who in 1999 had obtained an alternative lease from the then Kampala City Council in 1999. 

However, Mukesh contested the alternative title in court, and documents further indicate the two later entered a consent agreement on November 17, 2014, in which the late Semakula relinquished ownership of the plot.  

Semakula has since died (on June 27, 2021), but ownership disputes on the land, which had until recently remained vacant for decades, continue. 

We were unable to speak to Mr Lubega since phone calls to his known mobile phone numbers went unanswered by press time. 


According to Mr Makesh, Middle North Agencies, a subsidiary of Shumuk acquired a leasehold title on plot M26 Mukabya Road in 1987 from the then Kampala City Council. 

However, in 1999 the late Haruna Semakula of the defunct General Parts was issued an alternative lease on the same land, leading to a court battle that was resolved through a consent agreement.

A new dispute, is, however, dogging the same piece of land, pitting Shumuk against businessman Drake Lubega.

The case is currently in court pending disposal.