By Andante Okanya
An investor has dragged Kampala district land board (KDLB) to court, demanding sh5.3b for breach of contract and special damages over failure to access a piece of land located in the upscale suburb of Kololo.
On June 18, the investor Zhang’s Group Company Limited filed a civil suit at the High Court in Kampala through Kiwanuka and Karugire Advocates.
The claim arises from alleged failure to hand over vacant possession of land comprised in LRV 4452 Folio 15 Plot 29 Hill Lane.
“The plaintiff shall at the trial contend and prove that as a result of defendant’s breach, the plaintiff has suffered loss and damages for which it holds the defendant liable,” the plaint states in part.
The investor laments that despite frequent appeals, KDLB has failed to hand over vacant possession of the land.
The board has powers to acquire, sell and lease land. It also has the authority to improve or demolish any building in Kampala.
Court documents show that on the investor submitted to KDLB a lease application for the unsurveyed piece of land.
Subsequently in a letter dated February 16, 2009, the Kampala central division land committee recommended to KDLB that a lease be granted to the investor. The letter stated that land was free of any encumbrances.
Documents further indicate that on May 4, 2011, KDLB made a formal lease offer to the company, and asked for a sh173.6m premium, and sh13.8m ground rent.
On June 6, 2012, the chairman and secretary of KDLB executed a lease agreement in favour of the investor. But the investor states that no vacant possession was effected.
The investor has attached a Uganda Revenue Authority payment receipt dated June 14, 2011, showing payment of sh3.8m stamp duty.
Court documents further indicate that last year on August 2, the investor paid a premium of sh173.6m , plus sh13.8m ground rent.
Documents show that last year on August 6, the investor was registered as the proprietor of the land and a title was issued under LRV 4452 Folio 15.
Attached among the court documents are deed prints issued by the commissioner land surveys dated July 30, 2013.
Efforts by New Vision to seek a comment from KLDB Yusuf Nsibambi, on whether he was aware of the case, were futile. Despite repeated phone calls, his known mobile number was not reachable.
Court is yet to schedule a hearing date
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