Muslim leaders have asked President Museveni to help resolve a land dispute involving a community property in Bukalagi Village, Ntuusi Sub-county, Sembabule District. The dispute concerns the potential loss of two square miles of land.
The High Court in Masaka recently deferred a case in which a group of Muslims accused leaders of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) of illegally selling community land that was formerly known as Mawogola Ranch. The case was postponed to March 20, 2024.
Records before the court indicate that in June 2020, prominent Muslim leaders sold the land to businessman Arthur Kayanja, a move contested by many in the Muslim community. The Supreme Mufti, Sheik Shaban Galabuzi, expressed dissatisfaction with the process and stated that the sale price was below market value.
He urged Hajjat Hadijah Namyalo, a senior presidential adviser, to request President Museveni’s assistance in recovering the Sembabule land, which UMSC leaders had also allegedly sold to businessman Drake Lubega. Namyalo pledged to report the matter to the President and assigned legal support to the Muslims pursuing the case in court.
The land dispute involves a complex history, including leases to various businessmen and legal battles. Notably, businessman Kayanja won a case against UMSC in the Commercial Court and was awarded compensation of Shs18 billion. Meanwhile, another businessman, Mr. Muganga, filed a separate case in Masaka High Court.
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The land in question was originally donated to Muslims by former President Idi Amin Dada in 1974. UMSC Secretary General Hajj Ramathan Mugalu confirmed the sale, stating that the council had not benefited from the land over the years. Proceeds from the sale were reportedly used to purchase properties in Kampala, although these properties have not been publicly shown to Muslims.
The Muslim community has been embroiled in land disputes since 2006, leading to internal conflicts within the community.
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