By Andante Okanya
A magistrate at Buganda Road Court in Kampala is embittered, claiming he was conned of sh100m in a botched purchase of land in Wakiso district.
On September 11, grade one magistrate Araali Muhiirwa, filed a civil suit at the High Court in Kampala, claiming he was duped by one Emmanuel Ruhakana and given forged land titles.
The 14.2-acre piece of land is comprised in Block 195 Plots 172,190,189, 173, 55, and 61, situated at Kaliti. The sale agreement is dated June 27, 2013.
In the sale agreement, Ruhakana made a commitment to introduce Muhiirwa to local authorities of Kaliti, Kitooke LC1. But the magistrate laments that on several occasions, Ruhakana declined to introduce him to the authorities.
He notes that with Ruhakana reluctance, he was sometime in July this year, prompted to introduce himself to the authorities, and informed them that he was the land’s new owner.
However, he was informed that Ruhakana had sold the land to someone else. Muhiirwa states that on verification of the authenticity of the land at the Land Registry, he was informed that he had been duped.
“The plaintiff shall aver that he immediately took the land titles to the Land office to establish the status of their genuineness but he was only shocked to be told by the Registrar of Titles that they were forged,” the plaint states.
Through Tumwesigye, Baingana and Company Advocates, Muhiirwa asserts that he initially agreed with Ruhakana to pay sh150m for the land.
The magistrate states that he made the initial payment of sh100m, upon which Ruhakana surrendered to him titles for plots 172, 173, 189, and 190, measuring 8.410 acres.
Court documents show that the balance of sh50m would be paid after production of land titles for plots 55 and 61, measuring 5.8 acres.
Muhiirwa states when he communicated to Ruhakana, he promised to refund the money but failed to do so, which prompted him to sue.
The civil division registrar Tadeo Asiimwe has summoned Ruhakana and ordered him to defend himself within 10 days.
In the summons dated September 11, 2013, Ruhakana has been warned that in the event that he fails to file a response, Muhiirwa will be entitled to obtain a decree for the sh100m plus costs of the suit.
The case file has been allocated Justice Yasin Nyanzi. However, a hearing date is yet to be fixed.