Justice Andrew K. Bashaija of the High Court, Land Division has ordered an encroacher,Pastor David Kyambadde of the Resurrection Life Church to vacate part of the 565 acres of land at Lubowa, Entebbe Road in Wakiso district, belonging to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and ordered him to pay Ushs 100 million to the Fund in damages.
In a judgment made on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, Justice Bashaija also ordered the demolition of the illegal structures that the encroacher had erected and also issued a permanent injunction restraining the pastor or his agents from further occupying or using the land.
“The defendant (Kyambadde) is a trespasser and unlawfully occupying the plaintiff’s (NSSF) land. It is hereby ordered that the defendant pays to the plaintiff Shs 100 million as general damages for trespass on the land,” Justice Bashaija said in the judgment.
The land in question is in Busiro Block 269, plot 1058.
The Fund plans to construct a landmark 2,741-unit housing estate on the land, in line with its commitment to give its members competitive returns on their savings.
NSSF sued Kyambadde after he ignored a notice to vacate the land, and thereafter started constructing structures that included a church and school.
NSSF asked court to order eviction, demolition of the illegal structures and asked for damages for trespass.
Kyambadde had refused to quit the land which he occupied illegally claiming he is a kibanja holder who is protected by The Land Act.
He had destroyed the boundary markers erected by NSSF surveyors and fenced off part of the land.
He claimed to have been paying ground rent to Buganda kingdom Land Board, yet the land is not owned by the kingdom.
Reacting to the judgment, NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba said that the Fund was never in doubt as to who the legal owner of the land is.
“We were always confident that court would rule in our favour. We are in possession of titles to all the land in Lubowa. We would like to assure our members and the general public that the Fund owns all 565 acres and is in possession of 108 original (owner’s copies) of freehold certificates of titles,” he said.
“This judgment sends a message to whoever had any plans to encroach on our land, not only in Lubowa but elsewhere that we will not stand by. Fortunately, the courts are willing to ensure justice reigns” Byarugaba added.
In April, the Ministry of Lands also dismissed claims by some members of the Buganda Royal family over parts of the land.
NSSF purchased the land in 2003 from Uganda Company Holdings Limited, National Housing and Construction Corporation and Peter Emusugut, a private citizen and earmarked it for development of a modern housing estate.
In October 2013, NSSF announced plans to construct a landmark 2,741-unit housing estate on the land, in line with its continued effort to give its members competitive returns on their savings.
The project, which will cost an estimated USD over 400 million over a 10 year period, will be one of the most upmarket housing estates in Uganda.
It will be implemented in phases, and has already received approval from the Fund Board, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and Wakiso District Administration.
During launch of the Project Master Plan in 2013, Byarugaba told the media that the project will not only deliver an environmentally friendly estate with the associated social amenities, but will also make a major contribution to the reduction of the housing deficit currently faced by the country.
The development will also benefit the local communities. It will have retail and offices space, school, hospital, leisure and commercial areas, Police and Fire station and places of worship.
In April this year, Lubowa Housing Project design master plan won the Environmental Sustainability Award at the First East Africa Green Building Conference (EAGBC) held in Arusha, Tanzania.
The EAGBC is a platform that brings together policymakers, developers, government officials, academics and key industry representatives from the architectural, engineering and building sector to discuss key issues and opportunities across the region.