Widow lays claim over Mutungo land, wants ESO evicted

Teresa Sserwadda, a widow of the late William Sserwadda has told the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire land probe commission that the land at Mutungo hill in Nakawa division, currently occupied by the External Security Organisation (ESO) is hers, and wants the security agency to vacate it.

Sserwadda, a resident of Mutungo Zone VI a Kampala suburb claims to have settled on the land with her late husband in 1965, owning about 19 acres comprised on plots 44, 59, 67 and 29 on Kyaddondo block 237.

She said, they were tenants on the land, and used to remit ground rent to the late Buganda king, Sir Edward Mutesa II who owned over 640 acres of Private Mailo  on the hill.

She told the probe commission that ESO’s occupation of the land in the early 2000s tormented her so much that she spends sleepless nights pondering on what to do about the security agency.

Appearing before the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters chaired by Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Teresa Sserwadda accused ESO of occupying her land in early 2000s something that has tormented her.

“The military took over our land, I spend sleepless nights; the land had my daughter’s land that was under construction and crops; we do not have peace with them on our land” said Sserwadda

ESO occupied the land having bought it from Dr Muhammad Kasasa Buwule who purchased it from Lake View Properties Ltd, a company owned by former Chief Justice Benidict Kiwanuka.

She claims to have acquired a lease offer in 1965 on plots 48, 67 and 59. However, before they completed the process of acquiring instruments of lease, Mutesa was fled into exile following the attack on his palace in 1966.

All they kept to prove their ownership of the land was a document from Mengo that confirmed that their request for lease had been granted at Shs 500,000 for 49 years.

However, before they could acquire instruments of lease, Dr Kasasa informed them of his acquisition of the land.

Following the death of her husband in 1994, she told the commission, Dr Kasasa approached her with a suggestion that she buys her interests on the land.

“He told me that if I wanted to keep my land I should pay Shs 20 million for each acre” said Sserwadda.

She however declined because she believed that her husband had acquired the land legally from the Kabaka. She later took the matter to court.

“The court has not helped me, that’s why I think that these people should sit down and agree. It is only then that we shall live peacefully, “said Sserwadda.

According to his earlier testimony, Kasasa bought the contested piece of land from Lake View Properties Limited, a company that had acquired it from a businessman identified as Andrew Benjamin Kwemalamala Kintu who is said to have bought it from Mutesa’s estate administrator Nalinnya Victoria Mpologoma.