Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has interfered in a 60-year-old land dispute in the Isingiro district between 78-year-old Margret Kwatiraho Kibundugwize and Kitezo Catholic Church. The two have been at odds over a plot of land of 12.4 hectares.
Kitezo Catholic Church is accused by Kibundugwize of snatching her late husband’s land in 1970. She claimed that her late husband, Kurineriyo Kwatiraho, bought the disputed land in 1962 and won a lawsuit against the church before his death.
However, until his death in 2001, when the church decided to evict her, the church refused to vacate. Since then, Kibundugwize has won several cases against the church, including a petition she filed before Justice Bamugemreire Land Commission in 2012.
The land, according to Kabuyanda Catholic Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Lodoviko Ahimbisibwe, originally belonged to citizens who arrived from Kabale in 1956 and gathered together to gift it to the church.
He said that all of the paperwork used by the late Kibundugwize to claim the land were falsified, and that Christians refused to leave the area despite the court’s order.
The Land Act of 1995, according to Baker Mugaino, a Commissioner in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, gives priority to the land’s first occupant.
To resolve the dispute, Nabbanja authorized the Ministry of Lands to purchase the disputed land from Kwatiraho and give full ownership to him under the Land Act 1995 and the Registration of Land Titles Ordinance.
She directed the ministry to use the chief government valuer to value the land and give Kwatiraho money to buy another piece of land.