Businessman Hamis Kiggundu escalates his Kigo Land dispute by dragging the king of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, to the High Court. But Kabaka swears to his top confidants how he is ready to fight to the last drop of blood and breath, to stop Ham from grabbing his land.
His Attorney General, Chris Bwanika is ready for the battle. He notes that the kingdom has owned the land Ham is claiming to be his, since 1900. Ham had not been born by 1900. This prompts Bwanika to mock the businessman by telling him land is not merely discovered like Speke discovered the source of the Nile, and then one starts hopping around as they attach their name to it.
Ham is supposed to be chasing the land on behalf of a wealthy Asian desirous of stopping the Kabaka from handing the same over to a fellow royal, wealthy Prince Aga Khan, to use to expand his other Serena Hotel located within the locality. The propertied Asian fears the expansion of Serena Kigo within a locality naturally blessed with excellent flora and fauna, and lying by the lakeside, will see his own hotel closeby, losing a big chunk of clientele to Aga Khan.
Ham, as he is popularly known among his peers, insists he is the owner of the 140 acres of land at Kigo, not the Kabaka. This, despite the previous findings which dismisses his Title to be a forgery. Apart from Ham’s being a purportedly forged Title, the businessman is on record as stating his own land is deep in Lake Victoria.The Supreme law in the land disallows titling of land within water bodies since government is under stern obligations to keep those natural features in trust for the future generations.
In spite of the fact that land’s Deputy Minister, Dr Sam Mayanja is an avowed critic of the Kabaka, he backs him in the current battle with Ham by stating that the law doesn’t allow anyone to own land in any water body.Ham had he himself previously backed down on the contested land. He did this by driving to the seat of Buganda kingdom in Bulange, to express his regret over the divisive issue.
He would, nevertheless, make a u-turn later on to instruct his lawyers of Muwema and Company Advocates to challenge the move by the commissioner of land registration to cancel his Title. An investigation into Ham’s claims was carried out by the land office in Wakiso, which established the Title the businessman talks about and uses to lay claim to the contested land, was a complete sham.
While Ham had made a public pledge to concede to any kind of ruling by the Commissioner of Land Registration, he would again turn around to contest the same. Keeping true to his vow to fight on and retain what he claims to be his, the businessman has opened up a High Court battle, to have the commissioner of land registration’s cancellation of his Title rescinded.
Fearing to be seen and understood to be directly fighting the Kabaka, Ham submits his assault is against ‘ land grabbers’ within Buganda Land Board, whom he accuse of ‘hiding’ behind the Kabaka to ‘dispossess’ Baganda like him and Ugandans, of their land. Ham swears to use his vast resources and youthful energy to fight what he calls land grabbers even at the expense of being labaled a spoilt subject of the Kabaka. “Am ready and willing to be martyred for the rest of the silent victims of the powerful land grabbers hiding under my King to get away scot free,” Ham responds to criticism of fighting the Kabaka and the kingdom.
Ham Kiggundu is a Muganda of the monkey clan whose members are regarded highly in Buganda as the grandfathers of the reigning Kabaka, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II. The Kabaka is yet to receive notice requiring him and Buganda Land Board to file their written statement of rejoinder
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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