By Andante Okanya
Government and Kabale University are locked in a row over a 101 acre piece of land in Kabale district, with the university claiming that its land is being grabbed.
On April 4, the institution petitioned the land division of the High Court in Kampala, demanding that government be stopped from purportedly encroaching on the land.
Through G.W Kanyeihamba and Company Advocates, the university is seeking an order of eviction. The institution asserts that illicit developments are being carried out on the land.
“As a result of the defendants unlawful reversal of what had been properly donated to the university and agreed to by all parties, contractors have proceeded and continue to illegally enter the land,” the plaint reads in part.
The defendants in the suit are listed as government chief legal advisor Attorney General(AG), and Kabale district local government.
The institution asserts that the land was donated to it in 2001 by the people of Kabale, whom the district leadership holds the land for as trustee.
The plaint states that as a principal founder of the institution, the Kabale local government has declined to contribute an annual sh30m, despite a commitment to do so.
The institution alleges that the current district council under the stewardship of Patrick Keihwa, is divided over whether to retain all the 101 acres or give it to councilors for personal interests.
The plaint further states that after protracted exchange of views amongst local leaders, the university governing council and management, government intervened.
Government decided that the university retain 98.5 acres, while the remaining 2.5 acres were allocated to the Justice Law and Order Sector.
But the university laments that last year on August 2, it received a letter from the Gender,Labour, and Social Development ministry permanent secretary Pius Bigirimana, instructing otherwise.
The letter addressed to the district chief administrative officer(CAO), informing him that a team from the ministry and local leaders had agreed that four of the 98.5 acres be allocated to the ministry for construction of a remand home for criminal offenders.
Court documents also show that in the letter, the CAO was instructed to direct the district land surveyor to formally transfer ownership of the land to the ministry.
Last year on April 30, the council debated the motion and reversed ownership of the university’s land.
The university asserts that a notice of intention to sue was given to the defendants.
Court has summoned the defendants to file their defence in 15 days.In the order dated April 7, 2014, the defendants have been asked to heed, lest judgment is passed without their input.
A hearing date is yet to be scheduled.