Judge ends 10-year legal battle for prime land

Principal Judge Dr Flavian Zeija

What you need to know:

  • The eviction notice followed an April 22 judgment in which Principal Judge Dr Flavian Zeija declared M& D Timer Merchants and Transporters Limited a trespasser and ordered for an eviction.

Court has ordered M& D Timer Merchants and Transporters Limited, a local firm, to vacate a prime piece of land in Nakawa Division within 90 days, ending a 10-year legal battle.  
 According to the notice issued by the deputy registrar of the High Court Lands Division, the company is supposed to vacate the place currently used as a car bond and parking by December 15, to allow the owner, Hwan Sung Limited, to take possession. 
 The eviction notice followed an April 22 judgment in which Principal Judge Dr Flavian Zeija declared M& D Timer Merchants and Transporters Limited a trespasser and ordered for an eviction.

 Justice Zeija held that Hwan Sung Limited is the rightful owner of the disputed land because it legally applied for and was granted lease on it.
 The court ordered M&D Timer Merchants and Transporters Limited to pay Shs2 billion as profits that accrued from income obtained through use of the land.
 “…the basis for the plaintiff’s claim for general damages, in addition to [immediate] profits, is premised on the loss of use and enjoyment of its land. The reality is that the plaintiff’s rights were invaded and deprived of utilisation of the suit land to start a fish processing plant,” held court, ordering the company to pay Shs300 million in general damages.   
 The court ruled that M&D Timer Merchants and Transporters Limited went into possession after the land had been allocated to Hwan Sung Limited hence it did not possess any interest in the disputed land and that the construction that it made was after the dispute arose.

 The Principal Judge ruled that Hwan Sung Limited lawfully applied for and was granted a title of the disputed land and that no evidence of fraud was proved by M& D Timer Merchants and Transporters Limited.
 According to the court decision, Hwan Sung Limited and KCC conducted due diligence before the allocation of the land and issuance of the title.
  

Court document
Court documents indicate that in 1995, Hwan Sung Limited applied and was allocated the land to establish a fish processing and cold warehousing facilities which sparked the beginning of a long standing dispute. 
 Justice Flavian Zeija ruled that then Kampala City Council had legal interest to pass to Hwan Sung Limited, which it rightfully did because the earlier leases had expired.
 

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