By Cyprian Musoke and Juliet Lukwago
THE Catholic Church has accused a Kampala pastor of grabbing its land in Kisubi off Entebbe road.
Osborn Muyanja is said to have bought out tenants who were not supposed to sell.
According to documents from the Kampala Archdiocese Land Board, several correspondences asking tenants not to sell off the land have gone unheeded by the pastor and another person identified as Dan Mulinda.
â€œWe followed this matter up and informed the area LCs, the district Police commander and the resident district commissioner.
â€œOur appeal for the authorities to prevail over Muyanja and Mulinda have gone unheeded,â€ said a letter written by Msgr. Charles Kato to the land boardâ€™s administrative manager.
Kato said they invited the pastor to discuss the matter but when he failed to turn up, their lawyers opened a case: civil suit No.172 of 2010.
â€œDespite the legal action taken by our lawyers, Muyanja went ahead to annex more land and fenced off over 400 acres with barbed wire. He stocked the land with about 50 animals,â€ the letter said.
The pastor, Kato added, also fenced off the land of some â€œuncooperativeâ€ people who refused to sell their bibanja to him. He refused to be served a caveat and went ahead to construct houses, ferry cattle and deploy armed guards to deny the church officials access.
Muyanja, the letter added, recently claimed that powerful politicians were part of his project, in order to intimidate the church.
When contacted yesterday, Muyanja said he was a tenant on the land owned by the Catholic Church. He said he only bought the bibanja from other tenants, and that he had no land title. â€œI am not interested in the title,â€ he said.
In his Christmas sermon, the Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga accused resident district commissioners of being behind the grabbing of church land.
Other pieces of Catholic Church land being encroached upon include Uganda Martyrs shrine land in Namugongo (400 acres) while that in Namugonde, Kakindu, Ttakajjunge, Mpigi, Buyege, Nabijano, and Nsambya is being grabbed.
Appealing to the Government to intervene, Lwanga pointed out that despite the passing of the Land Bill, cases of land grabbing had persisted.