Commission of inquiry into land matters disappointed many of us 

Tuesday September 29 2020

Peter Mulira

By Peter Mulira

The Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters report has disappointed many people. Instead of addressing the problems facing us in land matters, the report perpetuates them. A case in point is land comprising what is known as Lubowa Estate, which belongs to Yusuf Ssuuna Kiwewa, who died in 1945.

As a senior prince, Ssuuna was allocated eight square miles under the Buganda Agreement of 1900. According to Cadastral Sheet Map 71/1/21 722 AND 71/3/1 71/3/1 & 2 of 1906 Block 265 comprised of two  square miles 592.27 acres  were surveyed at Bunamwaya, Lweza and Lubowa. This land was issued with an MRV title as to 1942.27 acres on February 8, 1924.

Yusuf Ssuuna Kiwewa also registered on October 20, 1906 as proprietor of four Square miles located at Bunamwaya, Lweza.Lubowa, Naziba, Nakukuba and Mutungo. This land was registered as MRV 82 1 and 2.

In 1911, the Governor made two Grants of 843.6 acres to Captain Hill from Nandi, Kenya under Grant No 9854 and another Grant of 990.5 acres to Mr Ormsby under Grant No 8,843. These grants were by way of leases of 99 years, which term ended in 2010, after which the land should have returned to Ssuuna or his descendants. 

In 1958, Uganda Company Ltd was given a freehold title over Ssuuna’s 1,834 acres “subject to the reservations contained in the Crown Lands Act.” On expulsions of expatraiate in 1973, all Uganda Company title deeds were sent to the Ministry of Finance and their receipt was acknowledged by an officer, who signed as J. Kahoza.

On August 17,1983, the registrar of title wrote to confirm that the title deed to Ssuuna’s other land had been transferred into the names of United Cultivative Co Ltd  and the same title was collected by its general manager, a Mr Makumbi.


In spite of the above, the registrar of titles registered Uganda Company (Holdings) Ltd on March 12, 1988 pursuant to repossession certificate number 0412, although Uganda Company never applied for repossession. 

On May 21, 2013, a firm of lawyers submitted a transfer from Uganda Compny (Holdings) Ltd to Mitchell Cotts (U) Ltd of 87 acres. Instead of transferring the acreage in the transfer, the registrar transferred 1,814.486 acres. 

As for Ssuuna’s 1,500 acres comprising MRV 82 Folios 1 &2, this was registered on February 12, 1988 in the names of East African Tea Estates Ltd pursuant to certificate number 0411, although this company also never applied for repossession as required by law.

What emerges from the above is that all the land at Lubowa is now fraudulently owned by two companies namely Mitchell Cotts (U) and East African Tea Estates Ltd. The individuals and other private companies are fooled into thinking that they have title deeds to the land they hold.

 A title deed must contain a print signed by or on behalf of the Commissioner for surveys and mapping with an Instruction to Survey (IS) number. Without these, it is not a title deed. 

An example of the fraud committed against innocent people is Freehold Register Volume321 Folio 8 measuring 37.968 acres. The registered proprietor is shown to be Joint Clinical Research Centre Ltd with effect from May 17, 1996. The title contains these words “…..known as Plot 101 land registered in Volume 82 Folio1 of freehold register.”

We have a signed search document from Wakiso land office, which shows that that Plot does not exist. It is common knowledge to all lawyers Volume refers to mailo land register.  It is on this presumed Plot 101, Lubowa, that an international hospital is being built.

Mr Mulira is a lawyer.