Minister tasks official to explain role in Entebbe land dispute 

State Minister for Lands Sam Mayanja

What you need to know:

  • In his defence, the Attorney General, Mr Kiryowa Kiwanuka, states that the land in dispute was used as a political school when the UPDF occupied it. 

The State Minister for Lands, Mr Sam Mayanja, has directed the assistant commissioner for surveys and mapping to explain his involvement in the land dispute between a Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers and businessman Frank Matovu in Entebbe.
In a November 22 notice, Mr Mayaja directed Mr Henry Opio Ogenyi to clarify his involvement in the case to enable his office to properly manage the issues raised by Mr Matovu’s lawyer.

The minister gave the assistant commissioner five days within which to respond to the accusations of his alleged involvement.
On November 21, Mr Matovu’s lawyers of Sanywa Wabwire and Company Advocates petitioned the minister, accusing Mr Ogenyi of making contradicting statements in regard to the location of the disputed land.
The lawyers complained that Mr Ogenyi wrote to the Defence ministry showing that the land in dispute fell under grant 21597 and on September 23, the same person contradicted himself in his statement of how the land in question was under grant 24597 and managed by the Uganda Land Commission.

“Information obtained on behalf of our client (Matovu) from the Ministry (of Lands) shows that grant 21597 was the property of the Native Anglican Church owned under freehold register Volume 6 folio 16. On the other hand, grant number 24597 does not exist,” the complaint reads in part.
When contacted yesterday, Mr Ogenyi declined to comment on the matter, saying it is before the court.
“Let the courts investigate the matter and the truth will come out,”  he said.

Mr Ogenyi is a witness in the case before court where Mr Matovu sued the government, accusing UPDF soldiers of occupying and denying him access to his land at Kitala, Entebbe in Wakiso District.
The businessman is seeking an order of court that the UPDF soldiers who are agents of the government, vacate his land and a declaration that the UPDF soldiers are trespassers on his land as well as a permanent injunction restraining the government, its agents, and employees from trespassing on his land.

Through his lawyers, Mr Matovu claims that he is the owner of four plots he purchased from four people in January and that he has been in physical possession of the land.
He alleges that in March, the UPDF soldiers trespassed on his land without his consent or approval and fenced off part of it.

Govt defence
In his defence, the Attorney General, Mr Kiryowa Kiwanuka, states that the land in dispute was used as a political school when the UPDF occupied it. The Attorney General further states that the army has been in occupation of the land since 1986. He added that even when they left to fight insurgents in the early 1990s, their uniports remained on the land which was a clear sign that the land was not available for acquisition by any person.