Lands Ministry Approves Demolitions In Katanga, Urges University To Compensate Squatters

1890 Views Kampala, Uganda
The lands ministry has given Makerere University a go ahead to demolish the structures on the disputed plot of land located in Katanga Valley in Wandegeya, a Kampala suburb. The lands minister, Daniel Omara Atubo has however advised the court bailiffs carrying out the demolitions, to act with restraint and avoid an escalation of violence. During a meeting between the university authorities, officials from the Ministry of Education and local leaders in Katanga, Atubo said the lands ministry has gathered enough evidence to show that the disputed plot of land belongs to Makerere University. //Cue in: iWe recognize that Makerere has # Cue out: #for these funds, they should have the will.i // The university officials led by the University vice chancellor professor Livingstone Lubobi presented documentary evidence to prove that land under dispute belongs to the university and not to William Jjansi Ssendagala. Ssendagala, one of the oldest residents of Katanga is claiming that the land was given to his great-great grandfather in 1895 in an agreement between George Wilson, the deputy commissioner of the colonial Imperial British East Africa Company and Buganda Katikiro, Apollo Kaggwa. A court ruling made earlier this year declared that several plots of land in the Katanga Valley are legally owned by Makerere University. It said mailo land titles of seven plots located on Kitante North Road were fraudulently created and sold to settlers in the valley, creating one of the largest slums in Kampala. Ssendagala is in court to seek a new decision on the matter. The meeting also resolved that Government and Makerere University should provide a resettlement package to the squatters who are being evicted from the disputed land. But the University Vice Chancellor, says the squaters may not be compesated immediately because there is no budget for the resettlement package. //Cue in: iWe can only get that money# Cue out: #respect law with equity.i // More than 700 people are facing eviction from the disputed land and 43 have already been displaced. Makerere University plans to construct a six billion shilling hostel on the disputed land as an income-generating venture for the University.