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Grandmother abandons home as children battle over land

FILE PHOTO: Cases of land disputes on the rise across the country

Wobulenzi, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A 90-year-old widow has abandoned her matrimonial home and relocated to a rental in Wobulenzi Town Council over a land wrangle involving his children.

Zurah Nantume, together with his late husband Musa Nsubuga bought 15 acres of land at Kito village in Katikamu sub-county and settled there in the 1960s’. However, Nsubuga died in 1988 and left her with 10 children. But, in 2015, a row emerged between Sheikh Hussein Ssendagire, her second-born child and the other children over the distribution of the land.

Nantume narrates that in 2019, without her knowledge, Ssendagire together with other people besieged her home and started to survey the land in question. Subsequently, a group of people unknown to her started razing trees, coffee and banana plantations on the same land claiming that they had bought it.

Nantume adds that they later fenced off the biggest chunk of the land and issued threats that forced her to flee the house and relocate to a single rental room in Wobulenzi town. She says that she has since tried to seek redress from Ssendagire in vain.

Mariam Nansubuga, one of Nantume’s daughters says that she was assaulted attempting to block Ssendagire and the unknown persons from grabbing their family land.

Edirisa Ssempaka, one of the other children accused Ssendagire of denying his siblings a share of the same land, adding that they have tried to seek redress from district leaders in vain. Ssempaka says that he personally planted pine trees and food crops on the land but they were all razed after the sale.

Sheikh Hussein Ssendagire, who is also the Imam of Kigulu Mosque declined to comment on the matter and asked the reporter to stop following the matter before he ended the call.

Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa, the Luwero District Kadhi said that he got a complaint from the family but efforts to reconcile them hit a snag after Ssendagire declined to turn up arguing that the matter is before the court.

Mulindwa said that Ssendagire told him that some of the land and its titles were still available but the family only disagreed on the allocation.

Parliament in March 2021 passed the Succession Bill which seeks to ensure equality and equity in the distribution of the deceased estates. The bill repeals that succession which is traced back to 1906. However, in August, the President returned the bill for reconsideration stating that the new clauses included, would most likely bring disharmony between the surviving spouse and dependent relatives.



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