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Masaka Muslim group accused of land grabbing

By Edward Anyoli, Andante Okanya

Added 4th March 2019 10:49 AM

Lutaaya said his father’s generosity and friendship were abused by the top dogs of the association.

A family claiming ownership of 20 acres of land in Masaka, along the Masaka-Mbarara highway, has accused the Bukoto West Salaf Association Limited of brutal land grabbing.

The gravity of the alleged grievance was echoed when Waswiira Lutaaya testified at the land probe commission public hearing in Kampala.

He said his mother, Madinah Nansubuga has since abandoned the land, after being assaulted, and her banana, maize, and coffee plantations destroyed.

The witness claimed his father Edirisa Lutaaya, who died on March 15, 2014, was kidnapped by the association bosses, and his land titles forcefully taken.

Lutaaya said his father’s generosity and friendship were abused by the top dogs of the association.

“My father had friends at the mosque where he used to pray from. He wanted to build a mosque and be rewarded in the afterlife, as Islam teaches us. He told us that he kept the title with the Imam of Mbirizi mosque Sulaiman Kkubo,” Lutaaya stated.

“We have evidence that these people grabbed and took him away for two months, and it was after a search that we found him at his sister’s home in Sembabule.”

The witness remarked that the family’s troubles took a turn for the worst when the association circulated documents depicting them as trespassers.

Lutaaya alleged that unscrupulous association members connived with officials at the Masaka district lands office, and forged land transfer documents despite the existence of a caveat dated April 10, 2014.

Asked by lead Counsel Ebert Byenkya whether the deceased made a will, Lutaaya responded that his father made two wills; one dated April 1, 2011, and the other dated February 28, 2014.

Lutaaya who read highlights in both wills stressed that his father rescinded his earlier decision in the first will where he offered the association land.

In the second will, the departed patriarch emphasised that the land he had initially given to the association, had been returned to his children.

UMSC disowns association move

Lutaaya disclosed that in a letter dated July 3, 2017, signed by the association secretary general, Jamil Muwonge addressed to the Edirisa Lutaaya estate, it demanded rent.

The witness said that the association claimed such a move was endorsed by the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC).

Byenkya stated that the commission had received documents showing that UMSC had disowned the move, and branded it as one of the self-seekers.

Lutaaya confirmed knowledge of the letter by UMSC official Muhammed Hussein Bowa, dated July 11, 2017, addressed to residents of Bwami, Kebirungi village.

“This is to put to your attention, that the land was fraudulently changed to the name of Bukoto West Salaf Association.

"UMSC wishes to let all residents know that our office has no relation to the said land,” the letter stated in part.

 

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