Ugandan nationalist and Independence statesman Grace Ibingira might be 22 years dead but all is not well at his estate, as three of his surviving sisters have descended on land he inherited from their father Alfred Katebalirwe, and threatened to throw off Ibingira’s heir Alfred Ibingira and his two siblings.
According to an impeccable source, the three sisters: Mrs. Muriel Baingana, Mrs. Victoria Lutaaya and Mrs. Sheeba Rukikaire, all married, claim that the senior Ibingira obtained the land in Rutooma-Kashaari fraudulently and insist that according to the laws of Uganda they, as the late Katebarirwe’s daughters, are entitled to their father’s estate.
Further, according to the source, in March this year, the three stormed the property and started constructing a house under the supervision of Mrs. Victoria Lutaaya, on the said land that was titled by Grace Ibingira in the 1970s. They gave the Ibingira siblings seven days to vacate the land amid claims of Alfred wanting to sell off the property.
“Upon his father’s death, the late Grace Ibingira inherited the estate. He subsequently titled it in the 1970s and the family has had quiet possession until shockingly in March 2017, the three illegally trespassed onto the property and forcefully started to construct a house supervised by Mrs. Victo(ria) Lutaaya. Ownership of the land is in the names of Ibingira’s children; the lawfully mandated administrators and they have not handed over their title,” the source said.
However, according to the source, the sisters have already erected a structure, which development has been challenged by Alfred Ibingira.
“Building started in early March 2017, just in front of the late Ibingira’s house with builders brought in from Kampala. They cut the border fence and made their own access road. The structure currently stands ready for roofing.
When contacted for a comment over the squabbles within the family, Alfred Ibingira refused to give details saying his lawyer, Justus Karuhanga was best suited to talk.
Asked why they resorted to fight over the estate of their departed brother, Mrs Lutaaya was noncommittal saying the matter was not for media consumption.
“I am sorry the story is not for media” she said before hanging up on phone.
Mrs Muriel Baingana on her part said “I don’t know why you should ask me because these are family matters”
The source added: “Alfred Ibingira then presented his letters of administration to police to stop the construction. Mrs. Victo Lutaaya, in a meeting at the Police Station, is quoted as saying; ‘Life has brought me to this point’. She said she left her husband retired Brigadier Andrew Lutaaya three years ago and he has not given her any property and proved too difficult. She decided this was a better tactic to get property.”
This is the second time Ibingira’s sisters have sued him for fraud, source said.
“Exactly five weeks after Ibingira was buried in 1995, they delivered the first letter suing their brother for fraud.
After failing to show up in the Mbarara court for the first hearing in February 1996 and several times thereafter, the three sisters suddenly dropped the case. Now, twenty years later, the three women are building by force on their nieces and nephews land,” the source said, adding a security guard working for Alfred Ibingira had been arrested on the ‘orders of a certain Colonel’ after the building the sisters had erected on the contested land, was partially destroyed.
“Muriel Baingana has stated that she has filed for letters of administration of her late father’s estate hoping that this will over-ride and cancel the letters of administration that the Ibingira children have,” the source said, adding: “Sheba Rukikaire is also said to harbor concerns that since Alfred (Ibingira) is not yet married he has no attachment to the place and that her father’s name will die out.”
“The three sisters complain that there have been no new developments on the land yet they placed a caveat that is still in effect today,” the source said adding: “The acreage the three sisters are attempting to grab also eats up the land belonging to the children of their other late brother Major Rutasyangabo Katabarwa.”