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Royals appeal to Kadaga over specialised hospital land

The artistic impression of the specialised hospital

The artistic impression of the specialised hospital

Five members of the Buganda Kingdom royal family have petitioned Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, seeking her help in getting payment for land on which the government plans to build a large, specialised hospital at Lubowa, Wakiso district.

Their petition comes on the heels of last week’s letter from President Museveni to Kadaga, asking her to speed up approval of a Shs 380 billion supplementary budget to go towards guaranteeing the foreign investor in the hospital project.

The royals led by Prince Fredrick Jjunju wrote to the speaker on March 7 declaring their claim to being the rightful owners of the eight square mile swathe of land known as Bunamwaya estate. 

The land includes Lubowa estate where government wants 30 acres for the hospital.

“We inherited this entire land from our grandparent, the late Yusuufu Ssuuna Kiweewa, who originally owned this land on Block 265 and 269. We have all valid legal documents which prove we are the rightful owners of the estate. Much as we also need development on the land needed for the hospital, we can’t donate it free of charge; so, Right Honourable Speaker, we request that as this matter is deliberated on, paying us first should be paramount,” said the six-page petition. The petition letter was copied to various officials, including the president.

The four other signatories are: Steven Saava Kikonyogo, Abduratif Nakalaali, Siriman Sebirumbi and Moham Nawango. If the project proceeds, this would be the first international, specialised hospital with 264 beds in Uganda.

It is hoped patients with complicated diseases who would otherwise travel out of the country for medical care would now be treated here. The hospital is, therefore, expected to address the issue of expensive medical tourism since it will offer a wide range of services, including transplants, neurosurgical and heart operations, among others.

In parliament recently both the minister for health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, and the junior minister for economic planning David Bahati denied that the land at Lubowa has multiple owners, and that there is a case before court regarding the matter.

The Observer has, however, learnt that initially three different groups of members of the Buganda royal family laid claim to the land. One group had Princes Joseph Kiggala (who lives in USA) and Nakibiinge Kimbugwe. The Kiggala claim was, however, dealt a blow on February 28 when the High court dismissed a suit they had brought against Prince Jjunju Fredrick, Victorial Luwedde (RIP), Steven Kikonyogo Saava and Mariam Zawedde. 

After the court dismissed the suit, Jjunju, Kikonyogo, Luwedde, Abdulatif Nakalaali and Siriman Sebirumbi are thought to have regained rights over the property in respect to letters of administration.

However, the long-standing ownership dispute over this estate reportedly remains unresolved.

About the title

A copy of one land title seen by The Observer indicates that the proposed project land (measuring 37.968 hectares on blocks 269 and 260 of Lubowa estate) was bought by Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) about 25 years ago from Uganda Company (Holdings) Limited as a freehold.    

The Uganda Company was incorporated on October 31, 1903 in England as a 100 percent subsidiary of Mitchell Cotts Limited, a UK company.

In 2015, Kiggala dragged six companies to court for allegedly encroaching on Lubowa estate. These included; Uganda Company Limited, Uganda Company (Holdings) Limited, Mitchell Cotts Uganda Limited, JCRC, National Housing and Construction Corporation, National Social Security Fund and Roofings Ltd.



+2 #1 Apanzi 2019-03-13 18:24
Did Uganda Company/Mitchell Cotts actually own the land or merely had leases on the land from the Mailo land owners?

Many Lessors have lost their lands through improperly issued Freehold land titles based on defunct or expired lease titles that illegally without compensating them (i.e. the Lessors/owners)
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+2 #2 Lakwena 2019-03-14 07:33
In other words, when dishonorable Betty Amongi told parliament that the land on which the "Segregation Hospital" must be build has no encumbrances, it makes her worse than an obscurantic, shameless, lying and disgraceful NRM sycophant.
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+2 #3 WADADA roger 2019-03-14 10:27
It is a pity, it is only in Uganda where everything in a white skin is regarded as an investor.

Imagine the punk has no money to buy land, so he gets it for free, then he has no money, we have to borrow from our coffers to give him.

The million dollar question is so what does he bring on board, is it the idea or somebody is hiding behind the so called investor so that he uses tax payer's money to build a private hospital.
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+1 #4 kabayekka 2019-03-14 13:09
It is indeed a dodgy deal as Ampazi suggests. These are helpless Ganda Royals who had confidence in this government but have found out their mistake probably not too late.

The State of Buganda has never sold any land territory to the Central Government. This African State can only lease out land for a period of time.

One understands that even all land of the Municipality of Entebbe and Kampala the lease made in early 1900 run out a long time ago.
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0 #5 kabayekka 2019-03-14 13:15
The country of Buganda does not seem to understand the modern way of owning land so that the future of their children and grandchildren is made secure.
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0 #6 kabayekka 2019-03-14 13:24
The Ganda Grandfathers were indeed well equipped with all this knowledge of real Estate Management even if they never went for higher education.

They leased much of the land of Kampala city for some 90 years for the cost of one shilling.

The lease period of 90 years expired but the current African dictatorial governments of Uganda do not want to accept that fact. They are continuously clinging to the lands of the African Ganda people illegally.
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0 #7 rubangakene 2019-03-14 22:14
This deal stank from day one; to me it smells like a "Panama Paper" manoeuvre.

This guy comes out of nowhere, he decides Ugandans need a specialist hospital for the rich, the deal is embraced without due diligence of the background of the investor in Africa or the Middle East.

Six months later he asks taxpayers for money to prop up his hospital, blah, blah, blah. How much money as he deposited with a reputable concern I the first place? This man is a 'chancher' who will flee the moment we give him our money; watch this space!
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0 #8 Apanzi 2019-03-16 15:12
The recently floated suggestion by the land commission to abolish Mailo land ownership was an attempt to legalize Freehold land titles that have been fraudulently/illegally issued on Mailo lands after the expiration of the leases that had been granted on those lands.

Now people are being rendered landless because of the avarice of these "new" Freehold title holders.

On another note; Even the letter written to Speaker by President requesting approval for funding that hospital project was edgy/equivocal about the legality of the project yet he has lawyers and an Attorney General and his team.

One is left wondering about the quality of MPs who voted to fund that "investor".
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