Court of Appeal directs on Fort Portal land case

What you need to know:

  • It is also alleged that between January and February 2016 at the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Kampala District, Ms Nyindombi knowingly and fraudulently uttered a false document to wit. She is also alleged to have forged a land transfer form that was furnished with the commissioner of Land Registration.

The Court of Appeal has directed the Magistrates Court in Fort Portal to proceed with the trial of the case in which Kabarole District Land Board officials are accused of fraudulent conversion of a land title.
Ms Lillian Bucyana, the Court of Appeal deputy registrar, in a January 24 letter directed the registrar at the Fort Portal Court to transmit the case file back to the magistrates’ court “for onward continuation of criminal proceedings as directed by the High Court in its ruling.”
Mr Peter Alinda, the Kabarole District senior land management officer, is battling cases in regard to alleged forgery of a land transfer form, fraudulent procuring of a land title, and uttering false documents of Kabarole District Land Board minute of 2016.

Joining Mr Alinda in the dock are Mr Cyprian Rwaheeru, the former chairperson of the district land board, and businesswoman Beatrice Nyindombi.
It is alleged that the false document presented was in regard to conversion of a leasehold to freehold in favour of Ms Nyindombi, which deprived the registered proprietor—Mr Juma Hussein—of land at Harugongo in Kabarole District.
The Court of Appeal directive followed a January 13 letter by Fort Portal High Court assistant registrar who had forwarded the criminal case file for the three suspects.  The suspects had wanted to appeal against dismissal of their application to stop their trial. They cited a pending civil case.  

Early this month, Fort Portal High Court Judge Vincent Wagona ruled that the application did not have merit and directed the court registrar to transmit the case file back to the magistrates’ court for the trial to proceed.
“It cannot be a correct proposition of the law that where a civil suit is pending between two parties, no criminal proceedings may be instituted against one of the parties arising from the same facts,” the judge held, adding, “In this case, it is my finding that the facts in the criminal and civil case are not necessarily similar or identical.”

Justice Wagona further reasoned that he found no cause warranting the stay of the criminal proceedings, pending the disposal of the civil case in regard to the land dispute.
It was alleged that between February 2016 and October 2019 at Fort Portal in Kabarole District, Mr Alinda and Mr Rweheeru forged the minutes of Kabarole District Land Board meeting KDLB MIN 0610212016 held on February 9, 2016.
The state alleged that in January of 2016—in the districts of Kampala and Kabarole—Ms Nyindombi forged a transfer form for land comprising lease Register Volume 1222 Folio 06 Plot 107 Block 45 at Harugongo in Kabarole District.