Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kasana-Luweero Catholic diocese is losing chunks of land donated by well-wishers due to lack of proper documentation, the Bishop Rt. Rev. Paul Ssemogerere has revealed.
According to Bishop Ssemogerere, many people have been donating land to the church over the years, which has enabled it to construct churches, schools and health centers among others. He says that unfortunately, most of the people who donated land to the church over 80 years ago have already died.
He says that their children and grandchildren have started taking advantage of the lack of proper documentation to reclaim the land, which has led to conflicts with the church. Bishop Ssemogerere cites Mulajje Parish where the church got a donation of 60 acres about 80 years ago.
He says that the grandchildren of the donor have so far repossessed 45 acres of the said land. Anne Mubiru, a former resident of Mulungiomu village in Nakaseke district also donated 50 acres. She however passed on recently.
The church is struggling with the deceased’s relatives over ownership of the said land because the deceased did not issue the church documents confirming her donation. Bishop Ssemogerere also cites one Columbus, a resident of Kijaguzo who donated 150 acres of land to Kijaguzo Parish.
He says for the last three years, they have battled the grandchildren who have finally won and repossessed the donated land. Nevertheless, Bishop Ssemogerere says that the church is to blame for this continuous loss.
He reasons that there has been some laxity in securing land titles. He revealed this while officiating at the climax of the diocesan fundraising drive dubbed the Bishop’s Annual Appeal Fund (BAAFU) at Kasana Cathedral.
Rev. Fr. Pontian Ssonko, the Kasana-Luweero Diocesan Treasurer General told Uganda Radio Network (URN) in an interview that the loss of land to the relatives of the donors has prompted them to earmark the biggest percentage of this year’s BAAFU to process documents for such land.
BAAFU was started by the late Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the then pioneer Bishop of Kasana-Luweero Diocese to help the Bishop in evangelization and social development of the faithful.
By the end of this fundraising, over Shillings 70 million had been raised against a target of over Shillings 100million. The shortfall has been blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the incomes of many would-be contributors.