Katanga land controversy: Col. Nakalema, police defy Court Orders, Businessman kept in detention for over a week, charged
By Male Deogratius City businessman Darius Muteesa alias Muzungu has been charged with offences related to trespass on the controversial Katanga land in Wandegeya Kampala.
Muteesa was arrested by State House Anti-Corruption Unit headed by Col Edith Nakalema on allegations of trespassing on Katanga land with the intention of annoying and insulting Makerere University management which is embroiled in the legal battle with over 50,000 residents and bibanja holders.
Darius Muteesa was arraigned before the Magistrate Court at City Hall, a week after detention in unknown detention centers and High Court issuance of orders stopping any investigations and or actions against bibanja holders on Katanga land.
The Court stopped government agencies and officials, among them the head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit, Col Nakalema to desist from arresting city pastor, Daniel Walugembe in regard to disputes over Katanga land near Wandegeya.
High Court Registrar Elias Kakooza of the Land Division issued the interim order against Col Nakalema, the Attorney General, Police CID director Grace Akullo, Charles Muntungi (commandant Police Land protection unit), George Nkurunziza (Deputy OC CID at Wandegeya) and the in charge of land desk at Wandegeya Police Richard Lubowa.
Pr Walugembe sued the group jointly accused with Makerere University, Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe and Yusuf Kiranda the university Acting Secretary.
"An interim order doth issue restraining the respondents, their employee, subordinates, successors in office or any other persons acting in their interest from arresting the applicant (Pr Walugembe) in respect of the Kibanja on freehold register situate at Katanga valley, Kampala District,” reads the order issued by Mr Kakooza
However, in the Magistrates Court, prosecution alleges that on September 28 2021, Muteesa jointly with others still at large trespassed on land comprised on freehold register on plot 47 North Kitante Road, and that he was found supervising illegal construction on the said land.
The presiding Magistrate Vallelian Tumuhimbise ordered for the release of Muteesa upon executing a cash bail of Shs500,000 and his sureties; Thomas Magonza the chairperson of Katanga and Twaha Jjengo were directed to pay a noncash of Shs5m each.
The magistrate Tumuhimbise also dismissed the state's objections to Muteesa’s bail application claiming that the securities presented are those still at large. The court’s dismissal of the State’s objections was based on the submissions by Muteesa’s lawyers led by Patrick Furah who said that the arrest of their client by Col Nakalema's Unit was illegal.
Mr Furah told court that the action of Col Nakalema violated a High Court order stopping her and police from intervening with Katanga land issues.
It should be also recalled that the Internal Affairs Minister Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire ordered the Police force to desist from disobeying court orders. Saying that it does not only damage the image of the force but also increases liability of the government when victims seek compensation from courts of law.
Gen Otafiire in a September 15 letter to the Inspector of General of Police (IGP) described defiance of court orders as unbecoming conduct, ordered that the Police should respect and adhere to court orders and that if required they should instead enforce the court orders.
“It should never be the Police force to defy or be contemptuous of any court order,” said Gen Otafiire adding; “Where a party is aggrieved, he or she should not use the police force and police force should not allow to be used to defy a court order.”
According to the Minister, the only course of action such a party should take is to move court to set aside the judgment or order he or she is aggrieved with.