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Court orders cancellation of title on 45 acres of land in Wakiso

Wakiso, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The High Court Land Division has ordered the Commissioner for Land Registration to cancel 5 certificates of titles issued on a 45-acre land in Wakiso District citing fraud.

The land in dispute which is located at Gayaza was originally registered in the name of Anselm Semakula Musoke.

Justice John Eudes Keitirima of the Land Division of the High Court ruled that the transfers on the disputed land from the Anselm Semakula to the subsequent vendors that sold the land to Alice Karugaba were fraudulent.

Anselm Semakula and Karugaba were sued jointly with the Registrar of Land Titles at Wakiso over fraudulent transactions on the deceased’s land.

Anna Nabatanzi Lule and her siblings; Mike Kasule and Gerald Kirinya who is the administrator of their late Semakula Anselm Musoke’s estate filed the case in 2010.

Court documents show that Semakula Musoke died in September 1977 and left the land which is now sub-divided into 5 plots yet he died without disposing of any of his land.

The Court also heard that Anselm Semakula impersonated and imposed himself as Semakula Musoke’s son and fraudulently without a locus, sold part of the land to Herbert D. Sekadi and Latimer Kagimu.

According to the complaint, the subdivision on the original land title was done following the lodging of a caveat and that the Commissioner Land Registration in connivance with Karugaba released the caveat without notifying the caveator nor her lawyers.

Justice Keitirima observed that despite all the anomalies, Karugaba went ahead to purchase the land whereby she either ignored the said anomalies or never carried out a search that would have revealed the anomalies.

“it is an elementary principle of our legal system that a litigant/client who is represented by an Advocate is not bound by the acts and omissions of the advocate in the course of representation. Therefore, if Karugaba relied on her lawyer to carry out a search as she stated in her defense, she is bound by what her advocate advised her to do,” the judge observed.

Justice Keitirima held that the disputed land forms part of the estate of the late Anselm Semakula Musoke and should be administered by the administrators of the estate of the deceased.

“I wish to add that a bona fide purchaser for value without notice of any fraud must have carried out reasonable due diligence before he or she has purchased the land on sale. This would ideally include carrying out a search on the title so as to verify ownership and whether the land is encumbered,” he ruled.

The judge has ordered the Commissioner for Land Registration to restore the name of the deceased, Anselm Semakula Musoke on the Register Book in the office of the Registrar of Titles and subsequently register the administrators of the estate of the said deceased.

“An eviction is to issue against Karugaba from the land. A permanent injunction is to issue against the first and second defendants restraining them from further trespass on the suit land,” held the judge before ordering the accused parties to jointly pay the complainants general damages worth 1 Billion Shilling with an interest of 10 percent per year from date of judgment till payment in full.



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