KAMPALA – Kiham Enterprises Uganda Limited, a company partly owned by city businessman Hamis Kiggundu has insisted that it still legally owns the 140-acre Kigo land that has been under contention between Buganda Land Board and the company.
Kiham, through its lawyers led by Fred Muwema of Muwema & Company Advocates, have further called for the prosecution of Buganda Land Board (BLB) officials led by Bashir Kizito Juma over conflict of interest.
This comes almost two months after Kiggundu publicly declaring that he had given up on the land to avoid confrontation with the Kabaka of Buganda.
“I acquired the said land from Wakiso District Land Board on public titled land tenure and I was given titles. BLB’s claim is on milo tenure then why is BLB opposed to boundary opening to simply draw a line between public Land and milo Land. I proposed to make a joint survey but Buganda Land Board is hesitant. I can’t stand to be seen as fighting with Buganda,” Kiggundu said.
But the fact that BLB chose to continue with their accusations, Kiham says had to file a defense and evidence must be filed – and this was effected on May 12.
According to Kiham, BLB falsely asserted that Kabaka is the rightful owner of the land and accused Ham of fraudulently conniving with officers at Wakiso district land board to grab his land which he acquired from the District Land Board.
In his defense, Ham, through his lawyers led by Fred Muwema further contends that he is the owner of the land after he legally obtained it from Wakiso district land board.
He claimed that the survey report which the BLB officials based on to argue their case is fake since it is not even dated and that’s the reason why he appointed a private surveyor William Matovu to conduct another survey report which contradicted with that of the BLB. He promised to present it to the registrar.
He pleaded to the registrar not to base on the testimony of Bashir Kizito Juma, the legal Attorney to BLB because he has a conflict of interest in the matter. “Our contention is that there is an actual conflict of interest in the duties of Bashir Kizito Juma acting both as a public officer and a private officer of the complainant,” Ham’s lawyers said.
They added, “This type of conduct by Bashir Kizito Juma is against the Code of Conduct and Ethics of Public Service issued under the Public Standing Orders 2010.”
They divulged that conflict of interest is a punishable crime in Uganda especially where a public officer holds a position in a private body whose operations are in conflict with his official duties.
Kiham Lawyers further say, the irony of the matter is that the freehold titles were granted by the Wakiso District Land, which employs Bashir Kizito Juma which means that he is both a witness and the architect of the complaint.
“This tribunal can therefore not entertain this conflict of public officers to pursue a conflicted complaint which derogates all best practice in public law. In our considered view, entertaining this complaint as presently filed is to perpetuate illegality and a constitutionally prohibited act,” they stated.
Ham pleaded with Karuhanga’s tribunal to dismiss the complaint and declare him the rightful owner of the said land.
Bashir Kizito Juma is the head corporate affairs, operations and business development at Buganda Land Board (BLB), a corporate body that runs the kingdom’s land.
Karuhanga is set to declare his team’s decision this coming week.