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Whistleblower asks IGG to investigate Principal Judge over Kyambogo land and fraud

IN THE NEWS: A montage of the Principle Judge (left) and  Prof. Katunguka

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A whistleblower has petitioned the Inspectorate of Government to investigate Principal Judge Flavian Zeija, and Prof. Eli Katunguka Rwakishaya, the Vice Chancellor of Kyambogo University for alleged land fraud.

The whistleblower, identifying himself as Godfrey Deogratius Ouma, points to the alleged illegal consolidation of suits to grab over 80 acres of land belonging to 47 litigants and over 400 tenants on Kyambogo Hill, Nakawa Division, a suburb of Kampala.

He alleges that acting under the influence of the Vice Chancellor, the Principal Judge collected different files with cases filed against Kyambogo University before different Judges and placed them in the hands of another judge, without notice to the parties and their respective lawyers.

In his petition which was received and stamped by the registry of the Inspectorate of Government on December 212023, Ouma argues that the actions of the duo contravene Article 128 of the Constitution which stipulates that in the “exercise of judicial powers, the courts shall be independent and shall not be subject to the control of any person or authority.

“The Principal Judge was not handling these cases and his alleged militant actions in the Land Division, have made it difficult to litigate cases of land grabbing against Kyambogo University because he has become a shield and a godfather to the Vice Chancellor who is not a party to those suits against the University,” the petition reads

Attached to the petition is the Principal Judge’s letter calling for the delivery of different files to be consolidated by one judge. Ouma also copied the petition to the U.S. Department of State, the General Secretary of the Organization of Islamic Co-operation, the Board of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank, the Regional Hub Manager, the Islamic Development Bank, and the Judicial Service Commission.

Ouma told Uganda Radio Network that by copying the petition to the US Department of State, he wants the duo to be sanctioned over abuse of authority and gross violation of the rights of the affected litigants to own land legitimately.

“It is so disheartening to learn that Lady Justice Immaculate Busingye refused to Consolidate Civil Suit No. 234 of 2019 with Civil Suit No.138 of 2021, the latter being a case against Kyambogo University by the  Uganda Land Commission and the Kampala District Land Board but the file was also taken from her and given to a judge preferred by the Principal Judge,” he stated. Ouma added that one of the cases was eventually struck off the file under very unclear circumstances.

Ouma added that the ownership of Plot M-902 measuring 160.260 hectares where Kyambogo University sits is still under investigation by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Department on the advice of the Commissioner of Surveys and Mapping.

“Those grabbing the land together with Kyambogo University, claim that it’s ‘Former Public Land’, whereas not. A look at the British Historical Map and Cartridge Map of Kyambogo Hill shows that there are no Surplus Estate Codes and Pubic Land Codes in that area to prove otherwise,” Ouma further stated.

Prof. Katunguka told URN that he wrote a letter to the Principal Judge to expedite the hearing of the suits because encroachers were constructing new structures on the land in question at the time yet there was an injunction to keep the status quo until the main case was disposed of.

“My letter to the Principal Judge had nothing to do with influence peddling. I had to act as the CEO of the University to safeguard against encroachers,” Prof. Katunguka told URN in a phone interview on Friday. However, neither the Principal Judge nor the Spokesperson of the Judiciary responded to our calls at the time of filing the report.

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URN

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