TOP
  • Home
  • Central
  • Elderly woman dies at court after losing appeal over land

Elderly woman dies at court after losing appeal over land

By Davis Buyondo

Added 22nd June 2018 01:55 PM

The controversial case had been going on for over 12 years, until its recent ruling by the Magistrates Court, appeal by the aggrieved and then dismissal by the High Court.

Nakintu 703x422

The controversial case had been going on for over 12 years, until its recent ruling by the Magistrates Court, appeal by the aggrieved and then dismissal by the High Court.

PIC: Nakintu (RIP) and Sserwadda at Masaka High Court during the the appeal ruling. (Credit: Davis Buyondo)

CONFLICT | LAND

KYOTERA - Maliseria Nakintu, 90, has collapsed and died after losing a bid to regain 10 acres of land allegedly taken by West Buganda Diocese.
 
Nakintu and 80-year-old Muhamood Sserwadda, both residents of Butale village, Mukungwe sub-county in Masaka district, appealed to the High Court over a decision by the Chief Magistrates Court that the land belonged to the diocese.
 
But Tuesday this week, High Court's Justice Florence Zeija, who presided over the appeal, maintained what the lower court had passed.

A little while after the decision, Nakintu collapsed on the floor outside court and soon stopped breathing. Dead.

Her body was transfered to Masaka Regional Referral Hospital for a post mortem examination and later handed it to her family for burial.

12 years of controversy
 
Meanwhile, some residents called the court decision over the land matter unfair.

The controversial case had been going on for over 12 years, until its recent ruling by the Magistrates Court, appeal by the aggrieved and then dismissal by the High Court.

It first came up in 2006 before the then Chief Magistrate, Mary Ekiti.
 
Nakintu and Sserwadda had dragged the diocese to court, accusing them of malicious damage. The diocese officials had reportedly cut all the eucalyptus trees on the land without notifying them.
 
At the same time, the diocese filed a defense, saying Nakintu and Sserwadda had trespassed on their land.
 
According to the charge sheet, the diocese had secured a lease of the land in question from Mengo and they wanted Nakintu and Sserwadda and their families to vacate the land to pave way for new projects.
 
But the duo explained that they had lived on the land for over 80 years, having been paying busuulu (lease) to Mengo.

Some of the receipts for busuulu payment


Still, Mengo set a condition for the diocese holders to pay the existing occupants before eviction - which the diocese allegedly never did.
 
The presiding magistrate, however, visited the land and held several talks with other residents for proof.
 
Nakintu and Sserwadda were represented by Jacqueline Sseguya and the diocese by Matovu, Kamugunda & Co. Advocates.
 
However, after a series of hearings and adjournments, court ruled the case in favour of the diocese in 2016. This prompted Nakintu and Sserwadda to appeal against the decision the same year.
 
In February 2017, Masaka Court summoned both parties and ordered them to provide evidence in their case.
 
But the appellants’ lawyer (Sseguya) reportedly did not inform them on the actual day. On Tuesday this week, court finally dismissed the case for failure of Nakintu and Sserwadda to present evidence.

Defiance
 
The two families have since protested the appeal dismissal and vowed not to leave the land.
 
Sserwadda said he bought five acres of the contested land on July 12, 1974 and maintained they will guard the land in whatever possible way to block any developments intended by the diocese.
 
“We should at least be compensated to have where to go since we have been paying busuulu. Otherwise, we are ready to die on this land,” he said.
 
James Kakembo, one of Nakintu's children, said they have nowhere to go since this is the land on which they were born. He argued that they never got fair justice due to lack of funds to hire good lawyers.
 
Meanwhile, Rev Canon Enoch Muhanguzi, the diocese spokesperson, said the same law that ordered the families to leave will be used to evict them from the land.
 
“We can’t use force whatsoever, but the law will force them out of the land,” he said.

 

More From The Author

Related articles