By Hillary Nsambu
The Supreme Court has ordered Kabale Municipal Local Government Council Town Clerk, Augustine Bujara, to sell the houses and the plots in the housing estate to the sitting tenants as it is envisaged in the directive issued by the Ministry of Public Service 1994. Bujara was in court.
Justice Christine Kitumba ruled that in the event that Kabale Municipal Council has not sold the property to the sitting tenants or not sold at all, the court would hear the tenants’ appeal on November 12, 2013.
This followed an application by Henry Rwaganika, representing the sitting tenants, for a temporary order against the Kabale Municipal authority not sell the property to the public, but to the sitting tenants.
The tenants sued Kabale Municipality under Kabale Housing Estate Tenants Association Limited (KHETA) for disobeying the Ministry’s directive and violating the law. They are seeking orders for Kabale Municipality to sell the property to them.
Rwaganika told the court that Kabale Municipal Council was supposed to sell the property to sitting tenants within 12 months from the Ministry’s circular, issued in April 1994.
However, the lawyer further told the court, the Municipal Council disobeyed the Ministry’s circular and attempted to sell the property to the highest bidders on open market, which the sitting tenants strongly resisted. Since then the matter has been litigated upon in the courts of law, with the Attorney General representing Kabale Municipal Council.
It is provided in the Government’s terms of sale: “Government pool houses will in the first place be offered to public servants on terms that the first opportunity will be offered to sitting tenants, who will be required to indicate their intention to purchase within 12 months from the date of offer with the Ministry of Public Service determining who a sitting tenant is.
The houses shall be sold at market value as assessed by the chief Government valuer.”