The ongoing construction of the new Kasubi market has not been without controversy and the latest twist has pitted Buganda Land Board against one Betty Nanjobe Lumaama, who claims to be a Buganda princess.
Nanjobe becomes the latest claimant of the 1.2-acre piece of land that KCCA bought from businessman Samuel Nkugwa, who held a kibanja interest from Buganda Land Board. KCCA plans to relocate the current market, which has been operating by the roadside for the past four decades.
KCCA opted for the construction of a new market to decongest the Kasubi suburb, which is notorious for huge traffic jam caused by market vendors who operate by the roadside.
BONE OF CONTENTION
Before the commencement of the construction, various individuals came out and claimed ownership of the said land before backing off but Nanjobe says she inherited it from her late father in 1967.
In a letter dated May 22, Nanjobe’s lawyer, Moses Kabuusu, warns KCCA and Buganda Land Board to halt construction work because she was not consulted before KCCA embarked on the work at the two-acre piece of land.
Kabuusu’s letter was copied to several stakeholders in the project, including the political and technical leadership of Kampala as well the Buganda Land Board.
“The piece of land on which you intend to build Kasubi market is Nanjobe’s kibanja interest given to her by her late father Omulangira Lumaama when she was a minor which information was only disclosed to her on May 20, 2019 by Omulangira Muhammad Kimera, one of the members of the royal family,” reads part of the letter.
However, The Observer has seen a copy of the reply from Buganda Land Board, which questions the authenticity of Nanjobe’s claim.
Dated June 13, Buganda Land Board notes several inconsistencies in Nanjobe’s claims such as the appearance of two different donors of the land and that the agreement itself could not have been witnessed by members of the Buganda local government in 1967 after its abolishment by the state in 1966.
“I implore you and your client from uttering forgeries, misleading the public through unwarranted media campaign and alarming stakeholders about the project basing on forged and false documents,” writes David Kyewalabye-Male, the Buganda Land Board managing director. “By copy of this letter, the Criminal Investigations Department is informed.”
KABUUSU BACKS OFF
When The Observer reached out to Kabuusu, he noted that his client wants to seek audience with KCCA and Buganda Land Board to settle the issue amicably.
“We are not so sure about the exact location of the land but we want to meet KCCA to remove all doubt,” he said by telephone. “It is possible that my client was misled and if I find out that the land is not the one on which KCCA is building the market, I will advise her accordingly.”
Plans to relocate the market started in 2015 as part of KCCA’s five-year Second Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Project (KIIDP-2). The project is funded by the World Bank and aims to improve KCCA’s infrastructural and institutional capacity. It is valued at $183.7m (about Shs 712 billion).
Before the work could even start, there were clashes between different factions of traders in the market, some of whom opposed the relocation but they reached a compromise early this year.
Upon the planned completion in September, the market is expected to accommodate at least 3,000 vendors.