L. Victoria Serena golf resort & Spa, Kigo

The ongoing bickering between city businessman Hamis Kiggundu and Buganda Land Board over pieces of land along the lakeshores of Victoria is an indication of the population pressure over land.

Whereas the population keeps on increasing, land remains the same and hence land fragmentation and the never-ending land conflicts.

Whereas Buganda claims the land in question belongs to the kingdom, Ham as he is popularly known insists the land is Private Mailo and therefore, it has nothing to do with the adjacent kingdom land.

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Although the matter was brought before Uganda Land Commission for arbitration, the Land Commission itself seems to be unaware to whom the land belongs hence further escalating the bickering.

Nevertheless, in its recommendations, the committee constituted to undertake further investigations reveals that both Private Mailo and Freehold do exist in the contested area. This confirms Ham’s stand that indeed there exists both Mailo and Freehold in the area. 

 “The team recommends a comprehensive resurvey of plots on Mailo and Public land in the area of interest to ensure re-alignment as per the common boundary of Mailo and Public land that has been determined in this report.”

It is paramount for the Land Commission as an authority on land matters in the country to be authoritative and have full information on crucial land matters so as to avoid escalation of land conflict. Why take three years to determine the ownership of just a few acres of land?

Whereas it is true that Buganda kingdom has land adjacent to the contested land, it shouldn’t be hearsay; it should be backed with historical facts on how the kingdom came to acquire such land and the same should be applied to Ham. Previously we have seen incidents of the said kingdom trying to assert its force on some of the land simply because it follows under a given location where BLB happens to have some land as well.

Should it be proven that indeed the said land is in the wetland, then both BLB and Ham should lose it but if it also discovered that indeed there was a genuine transaction that happened then the rightful owner should be compensated because of laziness of ULC officials.

Secondly there seems to be a double standard applied on similar land? Why would Mirembe Villas that is co-owned between BLB and some investors, the Golf Course and Serena Hotel be allowed to encroach on the lakeshore and reclaiming of wetland but at the same time Ham is discriminated against from developing his own allegation that it is situated in the wetland?

Earlier this year, Buganda Land Board (BLB) petitioned police seeking its intervention to stop construction of a road and drainage channel through Plot 273, 38, 87, 99,110 and others allegedly belonging to Buganda Kingdom. The kingdom averred that Kiggundu illegally created official kingdom Milo land, free hold title composed of WAK 6104, FOLIO 25, Block 273, Plot 23977 and the same are under cancellation proceeding at the Ministry of Lands.

According to Kiggundu, the said land is a Freehold land granted by Wakiso District Land Board and the Freehold Land Titles were issued in November 2019 by Wakiso District Land Office. The subject land falls under ‘Public Land’ formerly Plot 20 and referred to as, ‘Total Lake Area’, originally measuring approximately 289.34 Acres.

 “Private Mailo land on Kyadondo Block 273 Plots 87, 99,110 & others, land at Kigo shares boundaries with the public land (already described above), mainly comprising; Mirembe Villas, Kigo Prisons, part of Serena Kigo land, taking part of the Munyonyo Spur Road outwards beyond the Munyonyo Spur,” he said. He said it is composed on Final Certificate (F.C 18454) formerly Plot 96 and originally measuring approximately 16 Square miles and 228 Acres.

Kiggundu under Kiham Enterprises Uganda Limited is in advanced stages of building an Integrated Sports Complex called Ham Sports Club.

It accommodates three state of the art football playgrounds (including two training grounds), two Olympic size swimming pools, World Class Gym, four basketball courts, four tennis courts, four netball courts, all indoor games, accommodation facilities and a grade four medical health facility.

The boundary opening is aimed seeking clarifications and ascertaining the true location of both properties and as a way of confirmation that truly, the two properties are separate, do not overlap into one another, one is a Private Mailo land whereas the other is Public land, and that the only common identifier of the two properties is the shared Plot Boundaries and the fact that they all fall in the same Block and County.

According to an earlier report from the technical team constituted by the office of the Commissioner Land Registration, the team based on the findings on the examination and crucial analysis of historical maps, land tenure maps, cadastral sheets, extract of coordinates from land information system and copies of certificates of title of the subject land. It reveals that there was both Mailo and Public land in the area.

 “The key finding from the investigation is that there is existence of both Mailo and Public land on Block 273 with respective areas of approximately 10587.021 acres and 183.179 acres. Additionally, Mailo and Freehold titles in the area of interest encroach on each other by the extent shown in the report” reads the investigation report.

It further continues “This is mainly attributable to the poor surveys that have been carried out on this block. In terms of the existence of wetland and lakeshore, this has been answered in the affirmative with clear extents established according to the NEMA guidelines. For completeness, the extents of wetlands and lakeshores on Mailo and Freehold titles have also been clearly determined and quantified.”