New details emerge on Ham, Mengo land wrangle 

Mr Edward Nakibinge Kaggwa, the co-owner of Kiham Enterprises (in white), inspects the contested land in Kigo, Wakiso District on March 11. Photo/ James Kabengwa

What you need to know:

The businessman says the contested land is smaller than what is being claimed.

Guards of businessman Ham Kiggundu on Wednesday blocked a team of Buganda Land Board (BLB) officials who had gone to visit a 140 acre piece of land in Kigo Wakiso District . 
Both Mr Kiggundu and Buganda Kingdom claim ownership of the land.
In an interview with Monitor yesterday, Mr Dennis Bugaya, the BLB spokesperson, said: “Kiggundu is defiant. He even deployed the police yesterday (Wednesday) and chased our staff off the ground.”
Mr Simon Kaboggoza, the executive director of BLB, said the 140 acre piece of land is on Block 273- Kyadondo and initially comprised plots 38, 87, 99, and 110.

However, in a statement, which Mr Kiggundu shared with this publication yesterday, the businessman said: “The subject land falls under ‘Public Land’ formerly Plot 20 and referred to as, ‘Total Lake Area’, originally measuring approximately 289.34 acres.”
 Mr Kiggundu further said his company, Kiham Enterprises (U) Ltd, is the valid owner, adding that Wakiso District Land Board granted the company a freehold certificate on November 21, 2019.

Mr Kiggundu also said the contested land is smaller than what was being claimed.
“Total Acreage [of the land] is 93.322. Usable acreage is 78.086 whereas 15.236 acres is incorporate access roads,” Mr Kiggundu said.
The businessman also said he plans to erect Ham Sports Club on the land and the National Environmental Management Authority already granted him permission.
“Efforts were made to contact the neighbours and notify them about the projected activities but with minimal breakthroughs. However, we shall continue to engage the two neighbours (Mirembe Villas & Serena Hotel, Kigo),” Mr Kiggundu said.

 Last Friday, the row over the land came to light when the businessman together with officials from the Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) started grading and creating drainage channels on the contested land.
However, BLB says Kiham Enterprises purports to create a drainage channel off the Express road so that they get access to dump soil in the swamp separating Mirembe Villas and Serena Hotel, Kigo.
On March 14, Mr Edward Nakibinge Kaggwa, the co-owner of Kiham Enterprises, wrote to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Martins Okoth Ochola, asking for security to enable them develop the land.
“We are in the process of developing our land. We have had a disagreement with BLB, though we had agreed to hold peaceful negotiations on a way forward and resolve the disputes,” the letter reads in part.

Mr Kaggwa’s letter also informed the IGP that they were privy to information that BLB planned to disrupt their development plans.
Sources close to the proceedings said agents of Kiham Enterprises met with BLB on Monday and Wednesday and offered reparations which the latter allegedly declined.
When Daily Monitor visited the contested land on Wednesday, there was no one at the site.
 But as soon as the team started taking pictures, two muscled men emerged and asked for the purpose of our visit. They were non violent but said Kiham Enterprises was the rightful owner of the land.

UNRA reacts
In a March 16 letter to Kiham Enterprises which Daily Monitor has seen, the Unra Kampala manager, Mr Jacob Asiimwe, withdrew the permission that his agency had awarded for the realignment of a water channel from Munyonyo Spur into the contested land.
Mr Asiimwe said the permission had been granted based on information Kiham Enterprises had offered pertaining ownership.
“BLB has objected to ownership of the land, but you also failed to comply with the conditions of the granted permission,” Mr Asiimwe said.