40 VIPs Sitting On Kabaka’s Land Listed: Find out why they are all renewing their leases
By Our Reporters
It has emerged that, whereas radio talk shows critics have been demonizing Kabaka’s ongoing mass titling campaign, many responsible citizens have complied by working with Buganda Land Board (BLB) to regularize their status on Kabaka’s land. Not only have they had BLB files opened in their names and their land surveyed/registered but have also paid up and acquired lease titles on Kabaka’s land they occupy.
Katikkiro Peter Mayiga says in the last two weeks alone, over 500 individual tenants and institutions have enthusiastically responded to the voluntary campaign by commencing their lease acquisition processes at the various BLB branches.
VIPs WITH LEASAES LISTED
Away from those rushing to regularize for the first time, our investigations have revealed that there are many well empowered prominent citizens and institutions which have for long been operating on Kabaka’s land under similar lease terms.
These include First Lady Janet Museveni whose posh Buziga home at Kyamula village sits on land she leased (49 years) from BLB. Her only son Muhoozi Kainerugaba (aka MK) is another prominent tenant with a home on Kabaka’s land leased under similar terms by BLB.
The big man President Museveni is another compliant Kabaka tenant who is understood to have recently initiated a leasing process through eminent real estate dealer and agent Abu Mukasa in the areas of Ziranumbu Hill overlooking the Kigo Victoria Serena. The land housing Victoria Serena itself is being held by the Aga Khan Group on terms of a lease previously granted by the Kabaka. Serena is a multi-billion investment and owners found it prudent to take out a lease similar to what BLB is currently dangling at over 130,000 surveyed/registered tenants on Kabaka’s land.
On Thursday Mayiga told Buganda MPs that the campaign will initially last 6 months but will eventually be expanded to cover all willing tenants on Kabaka’s land. Mayiga explained that the voluntary offer is 49 years (and can’t be in perpetuity) because, like the Catholic Church and other institutions meant to last forever, Buganda kingdom can’t engage in outright sale of land.
He urged MPs to explain to their people that institutions like Buganda can only give leases because the same land must remain for posterity. “Like the Catholic Church, Buganda will be here even after 200 years and its land must remain. What happens if the lease expires, your children will be free to renew it and nobody will dispossess them,” Mayiga explained to MPs.
He added it’s for the same reasons that even Uganda Land Commission (ULC), managing all government land, only gives lease offers as opposed to outright sale converting the offer into free hold. “The Uganda Police in Nsambya operates on Catholic Church land and it’s on lease terms,” Mayiga said. He arrayed fears the idea was to gradually disempower tenants on Kabakas’ land.
On the contrary, he said, lease acquisition will make life better and even those desiring to transfer or sale their interest in the leased land will be free to do so the way one can freely sell his/her Kibanja. Other speakers explained that besides being conclusive evidence of ownership, the lease titles will expedite access to financial services in banks and other institutions for tenants seeking to use their land to finance other productive economic activities.
Apart from the Museveni family, whose Kabaka leasehold isn’t a secret, there are many other powerful citizens benefiting from Kabaka’s lease offers. The house of late Gen Aronda Nyakayirima in Buziga/Bunga is also on Kabaka’s land leased by BLB. The Aronda family has ably lived on this property without any encumbrances and will be free to renew their lease on expiry.
Our investigations show that even Sudhir Ruparelia’s Speke Resort Munyonyo (over 20 acres) is on Kabaka’s land under lease terms by BLB. His current financial woes notwithstanding, BLB hasn’t made any eviction threats against Sudhir since his lease tenure is still ongoing. This is the type of security the ongoing mass titling campaign seeks to bestow on all tenants on Kabaka’s land.
Gen David Sejusa is another comfortable tenant enjoying a lease on Kabaka’s land via the vast piece of land he owns at Kaazi. Sometime back, when the going got tough, the maverick General freely sold part of his land to other people without any interference from BLB.
Gen Ivan Koreta is another enthusiastic Kabaka tenant as his posh home in Konge Makindye Division operates on a lease granted by BLB. The other is Gen Kasirye Gwanga whose Makindye Kizungu home survived being grabbed by Kenyan claimants because his BLB paper work as Kabaka’s tenant was in order. It were the BLB lawyers, testifying that his was a valid lease that saved Gwanga homelessness.
There is also Prisons boss Johnson Byabashaija whose 20 acre residence and farm in Kigo operates on BLB’s 49 year lease. Notwithstanding recent disagreements resulting from breach of agreed terms, singer Bobi Wine’s One Love Beach is also on BLB lease. Yet that isn’t all.
Ps Wilson Bugembe’s Nansana Church is a lease from BLB just like all Gen Jim Muhwezi’s Kampala homes with exception of the Bugolobi one. Ex-VP Gilbert Bukenya is among the 500 tenants who have so far taken advantage of the heavily subsidized offer BLB has offered in the ongoing mass titling campaign. Our investigations show he is processing lease acquisition through his wife Margaret Bukenya. The land is in Nansana area.
Still talking about proxy spouses, veteran commentator Tamale Mirundi is another beneficiary. Through his wife, the man from Kalisizo maintains a tenancy regulation file with BLB regarding the leased land on which his Zana-Entebbe road home sits. Justice GW Kanyeihamba also last week came out and confessed being a satisfied Kabaka tenant as his vast Buziga home sits on land leased by BLB. The prolific professor was full of praises for the lease system by Mengo.
Most of the KCCA installations in Kampala operate on 49 year old leases acquired from BLB including all the primary schools run by KCCA. The newly built multi-billion Kiruddu hospital along Salaama Road in Munyonyo is also operating on Kabaka’s lease.
The entire Orthodox Church complex in Namungoona is on BLB lease that was renewed recently covering church properties in Kampala, Mukono and Kyabakadde. The Catholic and Anglican Churches also just renewed leases covering their parishes in Kazinga, Makindye, Buziga, Mutundwe, Nabulagala, Kasubi, Kabowa, Najjanankumbi, Kiziba, Gangu and Kyebando among other places. They have also secured leases for their parishes at Masanafu, Kasubi, Lungujja, Ndejje, Kazo and other places.
The SDA church also runs it’s parishes on Kabaka’s land e.g. Bukejje, Masanafu, Kitala etc. The Catholic Church’s Bukalango and Munyonyo martyr’s shrines are all on BLB leases. There are many big private investments currently being implemented on land leased by BLB and they are in millions of dollars.
Examples include; the $30m Mirembe Villas estate in Kigo, National Housing’s Estates in Namungoona (harboring many corporates and expatriates) and Pearl Apartments in Lubowa. Through condominium titles, the Pearl model has proved you can create other interests on land leased by BLB.
Telecom companies like UTL also operate their masts on land leased from Mengo. The central government recently renewed its BLB leases for Nabweru and Kasangati courts.
Internal Security Organization (ISO) also operates one of their interrogation facilities in Nabweru from a building constructed under BLB lease. Government has found it hard to avoid BLB because most of the land in Greater Kampala Metropolitan area is Kabaka’s.
The Makindye Military police is a BLB lease-just like the Officers Mess. The same applies to all district headquarters in Buganda, Prisons like Sentema and NWSC water treatment plant in Gaba. Our investigations also show that failure to properly regularize their lease documents with BLB recently put FUFA bosses in trouble after their potential funders raised queries which the Kabaka, acting as the lessor, had to clarify for them since that Njeru/Buikwe stadium land is his.
There was anxiety funding would be cancelled but the land lord intervened ratifying the FUFA lease. Giant petrol station companies like Shell and Total are also operating leases with BLB including for their Kibuye, Katwe, Namasuba, Nagalama and Nakulabye stations.
Makerere University is another Kabaka tenant example being the MISR lease that was recently concluded after protracted negotiations.