Controversial city tycoon Hamis Kiggundu, the proprietor of Ham Enterprises Limited is set to face prosecution for defrauding Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s Kigo Land Titles.
On Tuesday Baker Mugaino, the acting Commissioner Land Registration canceled Kiggundu’s land titles which were registered in Kiham Enterprises Limited, a company he owns with his uncle Edward Nakibinge as Chief Executive Officer and Director respectively.
The land titles which were canceled are situated on Kyadondo Block 273 plots 23974, 23975, 23977 all subdivided from plot 23720 measuring 140 acres of land.
“Now therefore by powers conferred upon me under S.91 of the Land Act having found that the certificate of titles comprise in Kyadondo Block 273 plots 23974, 23975, 23976, 23977 subdivided from plot 23720 were illegally issued. I hereby order that the same be cancelled and expunged from the register Block forthwith. You are accordingly directed to deliver the Duplicate Certificate of title for eventual cancellation” Mugaino stated.
Part of Kigo Land on the shores of Lake Victoria
Immediately after receiving the ruling, Buganda Land Board (BLB) spokesperson Denis Bugaya boasted that people like Kiggundu who play on people’s land titles deserve serious punishment as a lesson to others never to joke with other peoples’ land.
Sources in Kabaka’s legal team revealed that the process to institute criminal charges against Kiggundu and other government officials is in the final stages and very soon they may be arraigned before Courts of law.
Bugaya added that they have given Kiggundu 75 hours to remove everything he has put on Kabaka’s land before more criminal charges are slapped against him.
“He planted sweet potatoes on Kabaka’s land as a basis to claim for Kabaka’s land, they must be removed,” Bugaya said.
Early this year, Kabaka Mutebi filed a complaint before the Registrar land registration against Kiggundu who started upgrading his land at Kigo guarded by the military.
Ham insisted through his lawyer Fred Muwema that he legally obtained the said land title from Wakiso district land board.
He told the Land title registration boss that he followed the required process needed to secure a land title on the public land.
However, his explanation was rubbished by the land title registration boss.
Kiggundu’s lawyers insist that they are going to challenge Mugaino’s decision on their client’s land titles.
Buganda Kingdom Attorney General Christopher Bwanika
BUGANDA KINGDOM ATTORNEY GENERAL SPEAKS OUT
Addressing the press today, Wednesday, at Bulange Mengo, Buganda Kingdom Attorney General Christopher Bwanika emphasized that they will not surrender in the fight to rescue Buganda’s land from fraudsters.
Bwanika insisted that they are going to leave no stone unturned to fight, protect and preserve Buganda Kingdom land.
“The land at Kigo where Kabaka’s Mirembe Villas project was constructed is on one side, while Serena Hotel Kigo run by Pearl lies on the other side. Kigo land belongs to the Kabaka of Buganda and is part of the official mile of 350square miles and the Kabaka has had titles and the ownership is routed in the 1919 Buganda Agreement,” he explained.
He added, “A company called Ham Enterprises owned by one business man Hamis Kiggundu purported to obtain free hold titles on part of the land.
“The land between Mirembe Villas and Kigo Serena Hotel is a wetland and the kingdom left that channel to drain the runoff water from the main road to the wetland and to the lake.
“Now Ham Enterprises through Illicit Designs went and obtained freehold titles to over lay on the Kabaka’s titles. It obtained four illegal titles namely; plots 23974, 23975, 23976 and 23977.”
He further revealed that when Ham encroached on their land, Buganda Land Board (BLB) protested and showed him all necessary documents and invited him to come to the Kingdom headquarters to be shown the true picture.
“The titles complained of were just registered in 2019 but based on illegal transactions and illegal documents.”
He asserted, “There were some engagements and Ham came over to Buganda Land Board and he agreed that he should not pursue or fight with the Kabaka on land that is proven to be his.
“But immediately or soon after, he went ahead with his pursuits of encroaching on the Kabaka’s land.”
Bwanika adduced that Buganda kingdom decided to instruct its lawyers, K & K Advocates and S & L Advocates through his (Bwanika) office to file a complaint and petition to the Commissioner of Lands to act under Section 91 of the Land Act to counsel the land title.
“As established by the law, the Commissioner for Lands carried out public hearing starting with 6th, May, 2022 and all sides were allowed to produce there documents and present there arguments and be heard, ” he said.
The Kingdom Attorney General added that since May, 2022 up to August, 2022 there has been a public hearing where due process was observed and each side was given its day in court to present and prove their case.
He propounded, “Ham Enterprises side requested that a joint survey be carried out on the ground and the Commissioner for lands agreed and constituted a committee of experts comprising of the Commissioner of Surveys and Mapping who is the Head Surveyor in this country and also Wakiso district Land Board, NEEMA, surveyors from the Academia and top surveyors from Makerere University.
“Each of the sides also had their surveyors representing them on that committee and on 3rd, August, a joint survey exercise was carried out where all disputing parties participated.
“A report was issued to the commissioner on 30th, August, 2022 and the commissioner commenced on preparing his decision based on the issue whether the titles owned by Ham enterprises where illegally issued by the office of titles.”
Bwanika further revealed that it was proven by the Survey report that Ham’s four titles encroached on Kabaka’s official mailo titles plots, 3887 and 99 and that the whole process of surveying the land led to issuance of free hold titles to overlay on mailo which was grossly illegal because Kabaka’s title can be traced in the 1919 agreements and instruments relating to the registration of the Kabaka are traced as far back as 1920’s as opposed to the illicit free hold titles created in favour of Ham Enterprises created in November 2019.
“The law is settled according to the decision of the commissioner that free hold titles can’t be issued over land which has mailo titles.”
He stated, “The decision found that the issuance of the free hold titles in favour of Ham Enterprises were based on illegalities and procedural irregularities including that documents supporting those freehold titles were purportedly issued to Kajjansi Town Council area land committee while the land falls under Makindye Sabagabbo jurisdiction and this was grossly illegal.
“Articles 237 and Section 44 of the Land Act make it illegal to issue titles in wetlands or lakes or rivers and Ham’s arguement that his titles were in the lake area.
“It was also established that the purported minute from the Wakiso Land board which was not owned up by Wakiso Land Board was fictitious and non-existent which proves that the titles have no route and were issued illegally.”
Bwanika therefore concluded that the commissioner ordered those freehold titles which overlayed the mailo titles of the Kabaka be handed over for cancellation.
“He ordered that Ham Enterprises hands over the titles for cancellation, but even if he doesn’t hand them over, the titles will stand cancelled,” he confirmed.
By Hope Kalamira and Sengooba Alirabaki