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High Court Orders Compensation in Illegal Land Subdivision Case Involving Sir Apollo Kaggwa’s Family

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The High Court in Kampala has mandated the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) to compensate the family of the late Sir Apollo Kaggwa for the fraudulent and illegal subdivision of their 14.31-acre land in Munyonyo. Land Division Judge Alexandra Nkonge Rugadya delivered this verdict on Thursday.

In 2014, Solomon Luwalala, David Muyise, and Apollo Wasswa Basudde filed a lawsuit against the ULC, seeking orders to declare the property in Block 255, plot 98 and 97 Kyandondo as belonging to the late Sir Apollo Kaggwa. They also requested the cancellation of all transfers, plots subdivided from the land, and the associated titles.

The applicants, identified as beneficiaries of Sir Apollo Kaggwa, claimed that the ULC leased the contested land to the Registered Trustees of Kampala and private developers on a 99-year lease. They asserted that the land was in the deceased’s ownership by July 5th, 2013, according to a microfilm report from the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development. However, it was later discovered that it was converted from MRV 243 Folio 23, subdivided into plots 97 and 98 of Block 255, and registered in ULC’s name. The land has also been traversed by the Entebbe Expressway, as presented in court evidence.

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In their defense, the ULC argued that the applicants had no legal grounds against them as they lawfully obtained registration of the property. They asserted that multiple transactions had occurred concerning the land, not reflected in the microfilm report relied upon by the applicants. The ULC requested the court to dismiss the suit, and during the hearing, they did not appear. Only the applicants submitted written submissions when requested.

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Judge Nkonge ruled that the disputed land belonged to the estate of the late Sir Apollo Kaggwa, making ULC a trespasser. Consequently, the transactions on the land were deemed illegal. While acknowledging the success of the plaintiffs in proving their case, the judge stated that, since third parties were not included in the suit, canceling their titles would violate natural justice principles. However, she granted compensation for the contested land, with the amount to be assessed by the Chief Government Valuer and paid within 60 days following the assessment report. The judge also awarded the family the costs of the case.

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