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How Makerere land was shared out using forged title

By Charles Etukuri

Added 4th February 2020 08:25 PM

The land initially belonged to Henry Hamilton Hunter and Micheal Moses who were trading as HM Syndicate. The land was subsequently registered as FRV 53 Folio 21 in the names of Nizarali Hasanali Lakhani and Abdul Hasanali Lakhani.

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The land initially belonged to Henry Hamilton Hunter and Micheal Moses who were trading as HM Syndicate. The land was subsequently registered as FRV 53 Folio 21 in the names of Nizarali Hasanali Lakhani and Abdul Hasanali Lakhani.

LAND       MAKERERE

The title that the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) used to dish out 75 acres of land that belonged to Makerere University located in Katelemwa and had been earmarked for the construction of a hospital had been cancelled.

Saturday Vision Investigations indicate that the land title FRV Volume 18 Folio 11 had been cancelled by the colonial Government on May 18, 1939, and kept on the file but ULC officials reopened it and used it in the fraudulent land allocations to private companies and individuals.

The title had been transferred to His Excellency the Governor of the Uganda Protectorate on May 18, 1939, and immediately cancelled on the same day.

The land initially belonged to Henry Hamilton Hunter and Micheal Moses who were trading as HM Syndicate. The land was subsequently registered as FRV 53 Folio 21 in the names of Nizarali Hasanali Lakhani and Abdul Hasanali Lakhani.

Investigations have further revealed that Makerere College Council started acquiring portions of the land at Katalemwa on January 15, 1955, with the first portion being 0.430 acres under Instrument number 126312 that was registered under the names of Mela Singh from the land registered under the parent title FRV 53 Folio 21 in the names of Lakhani.

Another title was created in the names of Makerere College Council on the same January 15, 1955, measuring 0.579 acres under instrument 126311 in the names of Ambrose Santana Santiano from the mother title FRV 53 Folio 12.

Makerere College Council acquired yet another property in Katelemwa under instrument 141801 on November 17, 1958, measuring 1.537 acres from the freehold mother title FRV 53 Folio 12

Another title was created in the names of Makerere College Council on June 27, 1960, under crown grant number 36179 measuring 2.379 acres from the freehold mother title FRV 53 Folio 12.

Makerere University Secretary Yusuf Kiranda told Saturday Vision that the University was in possession of additional titles on some of the properties they had bought in Katelemwa and that at no point was the university informed that its titles had been cancelled.

On January 19, 2020, Sunday Vision published an exclusive investigative piece on how former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Betty Amongi (now Kampala Capital City) and the former Uganda Land Commission (ULC) Secretary Robert Nyombi were sighted in the controversial giveaway of prime Makerere University land at Katelemwa estates which the University wanted to use for the construction of a teaching hospital Sunday Vision has learnt.

The land in question was given despite protests from the First Lady Janet Museveni who also doubles as the Minister of Education to Amongi notifying her that Makerere had raised the issue of the intended land give away but that they had secured funds for the construction of a modern teaching hospital.

According to Janet’s letter, dated March 28, 2018, to President Yoweri Museveni in reference to another letter written to her by Amongi, she indicated that “Makerere University Council established Makerere University Holdings ltd and mandated it to identify, develop, manage and govern both existing and new entities of commercial/income investment. MUK holding Company identified, earmarked different projects for the various University land,” Janet stated.

She noted that Katelemwa had been identified for two projects which are Makerere University Teaching Hospital and housing apartments that would support the teaching hospital.

“Your Excellency, Makerere University has undergone many challenges associated with funding. It is important therefore to support their investment in the pieces of the land they possess in an around Kampala. This is the only way the University can be self-sustaining. I was also informed that the rehabilitated Mulago hospital will be too advanced for training undergraduate level,” Janet added.

A senior official at the lands registry on Wednesday confirmed they acted under pressure to create another title well aware that Makerere owned different titles on the land. “This was fraud orchestrated by officials from the ULC together with lands officials. It was beyond us and we only implemented their decision which created a new title,’ the land's official who didn’t want to be named said.

In an earlier interview with Saturday Vision Amongi defended her decision to grant the land to an investor noting that she was acting on a directive.

“The minister does not give Land, the minister receives directives and forward such to ULC to act. I received a directive to find land for an investor within a few kilometers from the Central Business District of Kampala. I then discussed with ULC and they gave me a title of land in Katalemwa in their names and indicated that it was over 20 acres and they were going to allocate 15 acres to Hariss International (Riham) and leave the balance for the construction of Makerere university hospital,” Among said.

Amongi told Saturday Vision that she discussed the proposal with the President and told him that the investor would share the land with the hospital. “He advised me how to proceed and I authorized ULC to discuss the modalities of sharing land between the University and Riham so that the land would accommodate both investments which are all vital for the economy,” Amongi stated.

Even though Amongi noted that the Investor had been allocated 75 acres which she says was the Presidential directive and meant the entire Katelemwa Estate, the final list released by the ULC indicates they were instead given 6 acres.

 “And to be clear, my authorization was to give land to only one investor, Riham, I am not aware of any other investor. The land was to be shared by MUK and RIHAM only. If they are more, then those others should be rescinded by ULC but I advise you cross-check with ULC,” Amongi said.

Sunday Vision is however in possession of letters indicating that as early as 2017, ULC then Executive Secretary Robert Nyombi had already allocated the said land to mysterious individuals and companies.

In an interview with Nyombi, he denied any wrongdoing noting that, “Every Katelemwa land distribution we did was in accordance with the law and that minutes were available at the ULC.”  However, when Sunday Vision visited the ULC offices to try and access the minutes, the file was missing a clear indication that it might have been hidden.

On 16 August 2018, Nyombi the ULC Secretary wrote to the Commissioner Surveys and Mapping confirming a new list of individuals and companies that had been allocated land. Some of those who were allocated land included M/s South Gate 8 acres, Didas Nzaranita 2 acres, Hariss International 6 acres, Steven Biyinzika 1 acre, Nakibinge Ronnie 50 decimals, Juma Wasswa 2.2 acres, A&M Executive Cleaning Services 3 acres, Sarah Nakamya Nandawula 1 acre.

Others include M&R Properties Limited 2 acres, Suleiman Kakande 1 acre, Veronica Nakalema 1 acre, Charles Kalisa 2.6 acres, M/s Oracle Julants Limited 2 acres and Eva Nakanjako 1.2 acres. Each of these was given a 5-year lease.

This story was done with support from the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF)

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