The property fight between NRM vice chairman Moses Kigongo and his estranged partner Olive has escalated; he now wants her out of what she considers her matrimonial home in Kololo.
According to court documents, the two have lived in the house for 25 years. But while Olive maintains that they are man and wife, Hajji Kigongo denies ever taking Olive for a wife.
In a High court suit filed on July 9, Kigongo says he constructed the house on Plot 13 Kololo Hill drive using personal money to the tune of Shs 1bn. Court documents show that after the construction of the house, Moses invited Olive to stay with him.
“The plaintiff [Moses] and the defendant [Olive] did not solemnize their marriage but the defendant unliterary changed her name from Olive Makambera to Olive Kigongo,” the plaint partly reads.
Through Muwema company advocates and solicitors, Moses says they lived in the property until irreconcilable differences developed, forcing him to withdraw from the house.
Despite his withdrawal, Kigongo says, he remained in “constructive possession” of the house since he paid utility bills and wages for the bodyguards.
According to Moses, on May 26, 2015, he sent Olive a notice to vacate his house. But on May 27, 2015, Olive replied claiming she had “a proprietary interest” in the house.
But Moses roundly denies the claim, saying that during the time they co-habited, he never gave up ownership of the house to Olive whether “directly” or “impliedly”.
Consequently, the NRM historical claims that Olive’s refusal to vacate the house has forced him to seek accommodation elsewhere at a considerable cost.
“The plaintiff [Moses] shall contend that the defendant’s [Olive] continued stay in the suit property without the plaintiff’s consent is unlawful and it amounts to trespass. She is a trespasser,” he says.
In her counter claim, filed in court on July 10, 2015, Olive says that in 1987, she entered into an oral partnership with Moses and they started co-habiting.
Apparently, in 1987, Moses requested Olive to oversee and monitor the construction of the residential house now in issue.
“In due course I [Olive]also contributed financial resources and committed much of my time to the construction exercise since the plaintiff [Moses] was very busy with official government duties ,” she says.
Olive, who is the president of the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says that during the construction of the house, Moses assured her that they would co-own it.
“Relying on his assurances, I gave up my own search for a plot of land. I wanted to build my own house of residence in an up-market location in Kampala hence I concentrated all my resources, skill, time and effort in overseeing the construction of the suit property until it was completed in 1990,” she said.
After completion of the house, she says Moses requested her to move in and assured her that it would be their home for the rest of their lives.
“Relying on that assurance, I moved into the property and I have resided there with Moses and our children as a family until he recently voluntarily left us,” the defence partly reads.
“That ever since I moved into the property, I have been responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the property including its decoration, painting and remodeling including working on the extension of the dining room.”
Through Kwesigabo, Bamwine and WalubiriAdvocates, Olive claims she is still married to Moses since their customary union in 1992 at her parents’ home in Mbarara.
“Since then, I have adopted the surname [Kigongo] of the plaintiff and I have openly used the same with the consent and knowledge of the plaintiff. Even in his official correspondences and declarations, he freely calls me his wife. Also in joint business transactions, the plaintiff addresses me as [Ms] Olive Kigongo,”she said.
According to Olive, the house is her matrimonial property; hence, she has an equal share with Moses. The case is now before Justice Damalie Lwanga.
Meanwhile, following the collapse of the mediation process led by principal judge Yorokamu Bamwine, the couple is still embroiled in a court battle over the ownership of Mosa Court apartments, an up-market accommodation facility in the city.