Namanve land saga: Judge, lawyer in bitter verbal exchange

Gazetted. A truck passes through a section of Namanve Industrial Park on April 22, 2018. PHOTO BY ALEX ESAGALA

What you need to know:

  • Prof Minaz Karmali dragged businessman Godfrey Kirumira to court for allegedly transferring his 85-acre land located at Plot 393 Kyaggwe block 113 at Katikolo within Namanve Industrial Park in Seeta, Mukono District.

There was drama in court as the High Court Judge in Mukono, David Batema, went into verbal exchange when he declined a lawyer from responding to an application in a Shs15 billion land matter.

Prof Minaz Karmali dragged businessman Godfrey Kirumira to court for allegedly transferring his 85-acre land located at Plot 393 Kyaggwe block 113 at Katikolo within Namanve Industrial Park in Seeta, Mukono District.

Mr Kirumira through his lawyer sought the dismissal of the case against him noting that there was the separation of the signature page from the text of affidavits.

However, the judge declined to hear the response of Prof Karmali’s lawyer to the application made by the businessman.

“I am not interested in your applications and all I just want is to hear the main suit,” Justice Batema angrily ruled.

This did not go down well with Prof Karmali’s lawyer Mr Denis Nyombi who wanted to object to the application reasoning that the application was important because it questioned the legality of the case thus may result in the disposal of the main case.

 “How can the court make a ruling before the other party responds to issues that are raised by the other party,” Mr Nyombi wondered while pointing a finger at the judge who had already ruled that the affidavits in support of the case were clearly irregular.

The judge also consolidated the two cases which were filed by Mr Kirumira against Prof Karmali, while another was filed by Prof Karmali against Mr Kirumira and Capital Ventures International Limited (CVIL) which Mr Nyombi also disagreed with.

Mr Nyombi reasoned that the two cases contain different concerns and parties thus contesting against the judge’s interim order that restrained his client from accessing the land yet Mr Kirumira have access to it.

This led to more exchange of bitter words between the lawyer and the judge, leading to the judge raising his voice in disagreement and the lawyer responding that he had to question the order.

“I will not reason with you because it is not legal advocacy, however, you are free to appeal against my decision. The order is made. I am the judge, have you heard?” the judge ruled before adjourning the matter on April 7 for further mention.

Justice Batema had extended an order, restraining Prof Karmali, his agents, employees, or any other person acting for his benefit from evicting Mr Kirumira from the land, pending determination of the main case.

According to the Court documents, Mr Kirumira bought the land in question from Yokana Galikwoleka Mukasa in October 2017, who passed on in July 1996 while Prof Karmali claims to have bought the land from Charles Kagenya in November 2010, noting that Mukasa was a shamba boy of Kagenya.

Prof Karmali further states in his affidavits that there is no way a dead person could have personally sold land, signed transfer forms, and handed over the title to a living person as Mr Kirumira alleges.

He further states that the land in question was placed into the care of Capital Ventures International Limited (CVIL) to conduct valuation and survey before the purchase, however it was discovered that the businessman had allegedly taken possession of the same at Shs400m.

However, in his defence, Mr Kirumira states that he has been the registered proprietor of the land comprising plots 392 and 393, respectively, for the past five years.

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