Sembabule authorities move to settle land case with Mengo

Sembabule Health Centre IV which occupies part of Buganda Kingdom land.  PHOTO/MALIK FAHAD JJINGO

What you need to know:

  • Sembabule District chairperson Mr Patrick Nkalubo said ‘‘the time is now to end the standoff and restore good working relations with Buganda Kingdom.’’

Sembabule District Council has passed a resolution to settle a land case with Buganda Kingdom out of court.

Buganda Kingdom and Sembabule District administration have since 2018 been at loggerheads after the latter  grabbed part of the kingdom land at the district headquarters and established a district canteen which prompted kingdom authorities to drag the district to court.

The district council unanimously agreed to settle the land case amicably without completing the court process during a special  sitting last week chaired by the district speaker Hajj Erias Kasoozi.

Sembabule District chairperson Mr Patrick Nkalubo said ‘‘the time is now to end the standoff and restore good working relations with Buganda Kingdom.’’

 “We are willing to work with Buganda Kingdom so that we serve our people better,” he said.

He also revealed that Buganda Kingdom did not put any conditions on regarding this development.

According to Mr Nkalubo, the district intends to legalise its tenancy with Buganda Kingdom through its land board.

“Most of the projects we have need land and the district does not have enough land,” he said.

Kabaka’s Chief in Mawogola County, Mr Muhammad Sserwadda said ‘‘the kingdom is ready to work with the district to ensure service delivery as long as the district leaders appreciates that the establishment is their partner in development and not an enemy.’’ 

“We are open to the idea of having the matter settled out of court if the new district leadership accepts that we are the owners of the disputed pieces of land in the area,” he emphasized. 


Sembabule District authorities started clashing with Buganda Kingdom officials in 2018 over ownership of a building at the district headquarters. This followed a decision by the district administration to renovate a community hall said to belong   to Buganda Kingdom.

Kabaka’s chief in the area, Mr Muhammad Sserwadda explained that the community hall, was constructed by Sir Edward Mutesa’s government in the 1960s and is among the properties that have been under the control of the central government and recently returned to kingdom.

They wondered how Sembabule district administration owned a building which existed before it was created in 2001 after it was carved out of Masaka District.

The kingdom also claims ownership of land housing Sembabule Health Centre IV which has frustrated the district’s plan to expand the facility.

In 2013, government and Mengo signed a MoU in which the former agreed to return all kingdom property but a year later when handing over some of the title deeds to Buganda Kingdom officials, President Museveni warned the kingdom against evicting tenants who have over the years occupied her land and buildings.