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Businessman denies selling off family land

By Vision Reporters

Added 17th September 2019 01:18 PM

Stephen Ssemanda dismissed allegations by his brother Apollo Lumu that he forged document which he allegedly used to sell off their land in Bamba village, in Wakiso district.

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Steven Semanda Kambugu appearing before the Land inquiry commission at archives center Kampala on Monday 16th September 2019.Photo by Ivan Kabuye

Stephen Ssemanda dismissed allegations by his brother Apollo Lumu that he forged document which he allegedly used to sell off their land in Bamba village, in Wakiso district.

LAND DISPUTES

KAMPALA - A city businessman, who is embroiled in a land wrangle with his siblings, has refuted claims that he connived with land grabbers to sell off family land.

Stephen Ssemanda yesterday dismissed allegations by his brother Apollo Lumu that he forged document which he allegedly used to sell off their land in Bamba village, in Wakiso district.

Ssemanda, explained to the commission of inquiry into land matters, chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire that he was shocked to hear he had forged documents to sell land without the consent of his siblings.

Ssemanda and his brother Charles Mulinde are accused of selling part of family land measuring up to 28 acres.

He also defended his brother Mulinde saying he could not have signed transfer to sell their family land adding that the alteration could have been done by someone else.

“I don’t believe Mulinde could have forged this title he is an honest person. This matter should not have come to this commission, we the owners should have resolved this matter,” Ssemanda said.

Asked by commission’s assistant lead counsel Andrew Odiit, what should be done, Ssemanda proposed that the commissioner for land registration should cancel the forged title and have the land returned to them.

Brother petitions land probe

Last week, a retired Police constable petitioned the land probe accusing his brothers of conniving with some individuals to grab their family land.

Apollo Lumu, who served as a fraud consultant in the British Police is seeking redress from the land probe to have the land reverted to his family.

The land in contention was bequeathed to him and other siblings by their late father Simon Peter Kinalwa. The late Kinalwa who died in 2003 was a magistrate and a prominent farmer in Wakiso district.

Last week Lumu testified at the land probe hearing, accusing his brother Charles Mulinde of conniving with a land cartel to alter titles and sell off their family land in Bamba village in Wakiso district. The land measures to 28 acres.

Mulinde appeared before the commission and denied having altered titles and selling of family land.

Led by Lumu, the administrators of the Estate of the late Kinalwa claim that they have established that the land has been fraudulently transferred, allegedly by Mulinde to different people.  

He told the commission that he investigated the matter and some of the people whose name he did not disclose to the commission, confided in him and revealed how the plan was hatched to grab the land.

Lumu said the plan was hatched at the land office in Wakiso district where the original title was altered to benefit the land grabbers.

“They told me how they were able to do it and how they can change the title within 24 hours,” Lumu said.                       

He expressed fear saying ever since he exposed the fraud his life has been under threat.

Commission fact file

On December 8, 2016, President Yoweri Museveni appointed a seven-member commission of inquiry chaired by Court of Appeal Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, to inquire into land matters. 

This was prompted by several documented instances of public outcry. The team took oath on February 19, 2017, with the mandate to inquire into the effectiveness of law, policies and processes of land acquisition, land administration, land management and land registration. 

Subsequently, public hearings commenced on May 9, 2017, at National Archives and Records Centre in the city suburb of Nakasero.

On November 10, 2017, the President extended the probe’s mandate for six months. Last year on May 4, 2018, Museveni endorsed an 18-month extension of the probe.

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