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PM Nabbanja intervenes in Isingiro land dispute

PM Nabbanja

Isingiro, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has intervened in a 60-year old land wrangle between 78-year-old Margret Kwatiraho Kibundugwize, and Kitezo Catholic Church in Isingiro district. The two have been feuding over 12.4 hectares of land.

Kibundugwize accuses Kitezo Catholic Church of grabbing her late husband’s land in 1970. She claimed that her husband, the late Kurineriyo Kwatiraho acquired the disputed land in 1962 and won a court case against the church prior to his death.

However, the church refused to vacate until his death in 2001, when the church chose to evict her. Kibundugwize explained that since then, she has been winning several cases against the church including her petition she filed before Justice Bamugemreire Land Commission in 2018.

However, Rev. Fr. Lodoviko Ahimbisibwe, the Kabuyanda Catholic Parish Priest, said that the land initially belonged to residents that migrated from Kabale in 1956 who came together and offered it to the church.

He claimed that all the documents used by the late Kibundugwize to claim the land were fake noting that despite the court ruling, Christians refused to vacate the land.

Baker Mugaino, a Commissioner in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, said the Land Act of 1995 gives priority to the first occupant of the land.

Basing on the Land Act 1995 and the Registration of Land Titles Ordinance to settle the dispute, Nabbanja directed the Ministry of Lands to buy the disputed land from Kwatiraho and give full ownership to Kitezo Catholic Church.

She directed the ministry to use the chief government valuer to value the land and give Kwatiraho money to buy another piece of land.

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