Kampala businessman Ben Kavuya has saved his 472 hectares of land after a protracted court battle, Chimp Corps report.
The Court of Appeal this Friday delivered a ruling in a 714 Hectares land case where city lawyer, Godfrey Rwalinda Jambo of Jambo & Company Advocates, had convinced Kabula residents that their land had been encroached upon by Kavuya.
The disputed land is 714 Hectares is located in Kabula, Lyantonde district.
Kavuya had previously purchased 714 Hectares in 1994 and consequently went to develop it as a commercial farm and upcountry home.
When the registered owner, Kavuya, was approached, he contracted a land valuer to ascertain the land ownership status. In his findings, the land valuer indicated that the title of the 714 Hectares had overlapped its boundaries by 241 Hectares.
In his submissions, Kavuya said he consequently offered the overlapped land to the claimants with the developments he had undertaken on it, at no cost.
Rwalinda rejected the offer and laid claim to the entire 714 Hectares.
He suggested that Kavuya purchases, afresh, the entire 714 Hectares at the prevailing market rates.
Kavuya, in a bid to protect his farm and home, sought the intervention of the courts of justice.
In a case filed in 2015, HCCS No. 77 of 2015, the High Court in Masaka ruled in favour of the claimants as mobilized by Mr Rwalinda and ordered for the cancellation of Kavuya’s title.
Kavuya, who was represented by former Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana, appealed the High Court decision in the Court of Appeal.
A panel of three justices from the Court of Appeal, Justices Christopher Madrama, Irene Mulyagonja and Cheborion Barishaki, in a ruling delivered this morning overturned the High Court’s decision.
In the Court of Appeal ruling, the Justices held that the declarations and orders of the High Court are “hereby set aside and substituted with an order that Mr Kavuya retains registration and possession of his title/land to the extent measuring 472.3Hectares.”
The court also directed the Commissioner of Land registration to rectify Kavuya’s title by adjusting it to remove the overlapped 242 Hectares
The respondents (represented by the lawyer Rwalinda Jambo Godfrey) will pay the costs of the case in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
Commenting after the delivery of the Court of Appeal’s judgment, Kavuya said, ‘I welcome the decision from the Court of Appeal. What was previously a travesty and miscarriage of justice has been undone.”
He added: “‘I have been a resident of Kabula from 1994, that an individual would try to evict my family and I on the basis of frivolity is unconscionable. I look forward to celebrating the holidays, as I have always done the past 27 years, with my fellow Kabula residents.”
Rwalinda is yet to disclose his next step.
It remains to be seen if he will appeal the matter in the Supreme Court.