The National Scouts Council (NSC), the top organ of the Uganda Scouts Association (USA), has disowned the decision of some of the USA trustees to sell through subleasing part of their 120-piece of land in Kaazi commonly known as Kaazi National Scouts Camping and Training
Meanwhile, the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) has initiated steps to cancel the subleases and return the ownership of the land to the Kabaka of Buganda. This means the fight for the prime land in Kaazi, a Kampala suburb, could be over soon.
Recently, The Observer reported how early this year, some USA trustees parcelled out seven new plots of land totaling 32 acres to two companies, Serena Heights Kaazi Ventures and Sky and Lakes Limited. The move prompted the Kabaka, through the Buganda Land Board (BLB), to petition ULC acting secretary Andrew Nyumba, accusing USA of illegally selling the land without consent from the Kabaka.
The trustees who assented to the deal include eminent people such as Dr Maggie Kigozi, Bishop Nelson Onono Onweng, Dr John Mugisha, Patrick Barugahare Mujuni and Richard Kamya. However, Lucy Nakyobe, the head of Public Service, did not sign. In addition to causing friction among the USA trustees, the action led to the resignation of USA Chief commissioner and Works minister Gen Katumba Wamala.
NEW DETAILS EMERGE
To deescalate the saga, Baker Mugaino, the acting commissioner Land Registration, informed Nyumba in a strongly-worded October 19, 2023 letter that the titles register indicates that the certificate of title on the land is vested in the Kabaka of Buganda from Uganda Land Commission.
Mugaino went further to invite all parties for a public hearing but it soon emerged that another party, the estate of the late Prince Mawanda, was also claiming the land. However, their attempt to block the hearing was set aside by court. But before he could meet all the parties, the NSC has disowned the actions of the USA trustees.
In a November 23 letter to the Lands ministry permanent secretary as well as the commissioner, Land Registration, NSC secretary Charles Isabirye, who is also the USA assistant leader trainer, has requested Mugaino to postpone the intended hearing in order to first sort out the crisis in USA.
“Whereas this [hearing] is a very good move in the right direction, as Uganda Scouts Association, we kindly request that this meeting be postponed to a later date after December 2, 2023, to enable council to sit on December 2, 2023, to decide on who will represent the association in that meeting. First of all, as the Uganda Scouts Association, the National Scout Council (NSC) has never approved any deal to sublease any part of Kaazi land. This is why we have called for an extraordinary general meeting to establish who did it,” he wrote.
“Secondly, we have landed on many documents some of them from your office and we wonder how everything happened.”
He referred to a May 25, 2022 letter where Andrew Nyumba, the acting ULC secretary, okayed sub-leasing part of the Kaazi land to Serena Heights and Sky Lakes.
“As the Uganda Scouts Association, we distance ourselves from and denounce the said meeting which is alleged to have taken place from September 6 to September 10, 2021, purporting to have agreed on sub-leasing part of the Kaazi land. Therefore, the National Scout Council, the supreme policymaking organ of the Uganda Scouts Association, is not aware of the same at all. So, we consider everything that has happened at Kaazi as trash. Those who entered into such transactions are fraudsters and whoever entered into any deals with them did so at his or her own risk.”
Isabirye further reminded Mugaino that at the time Nyumba wrote the said letter, there was a caveat on the land.
“So, whatever was done at that time was illegal and consequently null and void. Mr Nyumba knew or ought to have known that the land in question had a caveat and so he ought not to have done what he did. In all fairness, his actions need to be objectively investigated for a corrective and deterrent measure,” he said.
NYUMBA MAKES U-TURN
To atone for his mistake, Nyumba has already taken steps to deregister the sale and subleasing of the land. In his October 26, 2023 letter replying Mugaino, he clarified that on perusal of the records, it was confirmed that the title was transferred from ULC to the Kabaka of Buganda.
“We further inform you that the Uganda Land Commission during its meeting of October 17 – October 19, 2023, under minute 40/2023 (a) (193) rescinded minute 40/2021 (a) (33) of September 6 – September 10, 2021, that had approved consent to subdivide, sublease and change of user from camping to camping, national training and mixed use (commercial and residential) having noted that by the time the consent was granted, the land had already been transferred to the Kabaka of Buganda,” he noted.
“This means that the consents to sublease and change of user that were granted are all recalled by the commission.”