One of Uganda’s largest conglomerates, Madhvani Group of Companies, is on the spot for alleged trespass on land which forms part of the estate of the late Prince Yusuf Suuna Kiwewa.
According to Princes, Henry Kalemera Kimera and Jimmy Mutebi, who have been given authority by the Suuna family heads to recover the land, Madhvani’s tea estates at Nakigalala and Kansiri in Wakiso district measuring approximately 270 sits on land which forms part of the Suuna estate.
It has emerged that the multinational company has been illegally trespassing on the said land since 1960s. According to letters the two have written to the CIID boss Grace Akullo, The commissioner Lands and Surveys Entebbe and the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development Entebbe among others, they claim Madhvani made a free hold title for itself even though a grant 9100 given to H Dewhurst in 1909 for 99 years to grow Pala was still in place. This grant according to the late Suuna’s descendants expired in 2008.
“It is confirmed by the ministry of lands and Urban Development Entebbe that Nakigalala was a property of the late Prince Yusuf Suuna Kiwewa and was given under grant 9100 to H Dewhurst for 99 years to grow Pala. It is also established that you made a freehold title in your favor whilst the grant 9100 was still in place. We can confirm that all known land laws of Uganda do not have a provision for creating a freehold title on a subsisting mailo title. Consequently, your purported freehold title on our client’s existing mailo title is void ab initio and of no legal consequence,” reads in part the letter dated February 18 2015 from the Princes’ Advocates Balondemu, Candia & Wandera Advocates to Madhvani Group of companies that the Red Pepper has seen.
The two also have original certificates of the title issued on November 27, 1913 indicating that Prince Yusuf Suuna Kiwewa is the owner of the said land.
They are seeking a peaceful settlement of the matter but insist that failure by Madhvani to respond will make them react otherwise even though they have not stated how.
However, Madhvani responded through their lawyers, Arcadia Advocates to the Princes’ claim saying it is “preposterous and laughable” and that Madhvani is the registered proprietor of the Land on which the estate is located.
“…our client is the registered proprietor of the land on which its estate is located and has been in occupation and utilization of the same since time immemorial.” Reads the letter dated February 18, 2015 and copied to the Inspector General of Police. The letter adds that Uganda’s courts of Judicature have adjudged that the land in question belongs to Madhvani.
Our efforts to reach Madhvani for a comment were futile as the organisation’s phone numbers were not being answered. They have created an online platform to further their cause.