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Ham Towers primed to slip through Kiggundu's grasp – Monitor

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Ham shopping mall on Makerere Hill Road in Kampala. Buganda Land Board seeks the cancellation of a lease on the land that the building sits. PHOTO/ ISAAC KASAMANI
By  JAMES KABENGWA

A fresh row has erupted pitting the Buganda Land Board (BLB) against Hamis Kiggundu and an unidentified person over two controversial leases.
The standoff comes against the backdrop of a yet-to-be-resolved impasse over 140 acres of land at Kigo in Wakiso District that BLB is seeking the Commissioner Land Registration (CLR) to cancel.
READ: Businessman Ham Kiggundu sues Kabaka over Kigo land
In the new row, BLB wants the CLR to cancel two leases one of which, if granted, will see part of Ham Towers situated at Makerere Hill Road opposite Makerere University slip through Kiggundu’s grasp.
On December 6, BLB boss Simon Kabogoza wrote to the Commissioner of Land Registration asking his office to expedite the cancellation of Block 9 Plot 923 housing Kigundu’s Ham Towers  plus Plots 924 and 925.
“Those plots are private Milo titles which were illegally created on Kabaka’s official Mailo, which is Block 9 Plot 440,’’  the letter reads.
“The illegal titles were created as a result of illegally sub-dividing Plot 440 on Block 9. Plot 440 on Block 9 was formerly Katikkiroship land which was returned to the Kabaka.’’
In the same letter, Mr Kabogoza explained another unidentified person acquired LRV folio 4. This title was issued out of Kabaka’s official Mailo of Block 254 Plot 82. The illegality was initially for Katikkiroship.
“The illegality with this issuance was that it was issued by Kampala City Council, yet the rightful controlling authority was Uganda Lands Commission. We think that these are fundamental errors that require rectification of the register,” says BLB boss.
ALSO READ: Land registration commissioner cancels Ham’s titles on Kabaka’s Kigo land
BLB says the concerns were first raised in writing to Mr Kiggundu, but he never responded.
Kigundu’s title, according to Mr Kabogoza, is part of the package that President Museveni returned to Mengo.
BLB is also seeking cancellation of land at Kansanga located on Block 254 plot 82.
The request to cancel the titles started in 2016 when in August of that year, the then chief executive of the BLB wrote to Mr Kiggundu, asking him to regularise his ownership of the land, especially on Plot 923 where part of Ham Towers sits.
“We request you to regularise your tenancy with the landlord on the above land,” Mr Kyewalabye Male wrote, adding, “We shall be available to engage with you anytime on September 16, 2016.”
Mr Dennis Bugaya, the BLB spokesperson, told Daily Monitor yesterday that all people who have illegally acquired land titles on the kingdom land should go to Buganda Land Board and regularise their tenancy.
“When negotiations fail, we then resort to petitioning the Ministry of Lands for cancellation. In the matter of Mr Kiggundu, we first talked to him and he was non-responsive. We then petitioned for cancellation and we are optimistic that the commissioner/ministry will soon start the cancellation process,” he said, adding, “We have been following up on this matter regularly and we hope the cancellation process will start soon.”
While the Ag Commissioner of Land Registration, Mr Baker Mugaino, didn’t respond to our calls and WhatsApp messages, Mr Dennis Obbo, the Lands ministry spokesperson, last evening asked for more time to verify the status of the request by BBL.
“It will require checking the system to verify the information against what is in it and the old physical file,” Mr Obbo said.
ALSO READ: Museveni slams ‘very bad’ Mailo land policy
Efforts to seek a rejoinder from Mr Kiggundu failed as he was inaccessible via telephone and WhatsApp where he blue-ticked our messages with no response.
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Joseph Muongi

Financial.co.ke was founded by Mr. Joseph Muongi Kamau. He holds a Master of Science in Finance, Bachelors of Science in Actuarial Science and a Certificate of proficiencty in insurance. He's also the lead financial consultant.