The Uganda Muslim Supreme Council has appealed to President Museveni to intervene in a budding land wrangle in which businessman Albert Muganga, a son-in-law to Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa is trying to grab two square miles of their land in the central district of Ssembabule.
The land in Ssembabule located at Bukiragi village in Ntuusi sub-county is part of the 5 square miles on LVR 3693, Folio 12, Ranch 31A. Three square miles were earlier acquired by the government, now pending compensation.
But according to a July 28 letter to President Museveni signed by Alhaji Ramathan Mugalu, secretary-general UMSC, Muganga and wife Ishta Kutesa through their company Enterprise Handling Services Limited, in 2013 “duped our District Muslim Administration and entered into an illegal agreement for renting of our aforementioned land for 15 years”.
“We say illegal because our lower Muslim District Administration has no authority to lease or rent land belonging to the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council,” Mugalu wrote.
Muganga has too, since sought to ferment bad blood between the leadership of the UMSC and the lower Muslim District Administration after the top leadership flagged his dealings. He has also put a caveat on the land which the Muslims say is illegal. According to the UMSC, the illegal dealings of Muganga were brought to the attention of Kutesa and requested that he either regularises the transaction or buys the land.
However, the businessman committed more fraud in 2017 by offering to the UMSC a property in Nakulabye Kampala in exchange, which fell through because he did not own the property. According to Mugalu, Muganga then deposited Shs 280 million on the UMSC account, “which when the exchange failed for the reason of their fraudulent misrepresentation, we understood was compensation for the 4 years he had illegally used our land upto that time”.
The UMSC recently sold the land and invested the proceeds in income generating real estate property but are surprised Muganga purports to hold interest in the land and has placed a caveat and deployed the police on the land to deny the buyer from using it.
“Why would he do so? Why would the police help him to break the law?” wrote UMSC. “We request for your urgent intervention to stop this illegal activity and use of state resources as well as intimidation to grab our property and arm-twist the law,” the Muslims wrote.
The Muslims’ petition to Predident Museveni comes in the wake of several land disputes between business people and religious groups. This week, the country woke up to news of the demolition of the 49-years St. Peter’s Church of Uganda, Ndeeba after a businessman one Dodovico Mwanje bought the land.
A few months ago, President Museveni instructed the director of CID Grace Akullo to arrest city lawyers who reportedly fleeced Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga after the Kampala Archdiocese was compensated with Shs 21 billion for ground rent arrears from the government on orders of President Museveni.