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Minister Mayanja Rules on Disputed Land in Jinja City


The Minister of State for Lands, Samuel Mayanja has ruled that the 4.6 acre piece of land in Jinja City belongs to Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC).

This ends a 15-year dispute, where UMSC and Jinja Regional Referral Hospital have been embroiled in endless court battles.

On Tuesday, Mayanja held a meeting on the contested land with representatives from Jinja Hospital and UMSC.

Faizal Mohammed who spoke on behalf of UMSC says that the land was first earmarked as the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect burial grounds in 1927.  He added that the land was given to the Muslim community through a decree by the former President, Idi Amin Dada, who had come to preside over the funeral of the late Colonel Suleiman’s wife and his son in 1974, as an extension in case the cemetery fills up.

Faizal further says that, before their court battles with Jinja Hospital, they had previously been in land disputes with businessmen and powerful politicians, who had attempted to construct arcades in the area throughout the early 2000s, only to be blocked by protests from the Muslim community.

The Principal Hospital Administrator, David Ssemakula says that the Ministry of Health is liaising with the Attorney General’s office for further guidance on amicable ways of resolving the matter.

Mayanja argued that, much as the contested land had been taken over by the Uganda Land commission-ULC, UMSC reserves priority for ownership, since they have been sitting tenants on the land for several decades.

Mayanja explained that ULC endorsed UMSC to acquire a freehold title on the same land in 2010, but they were frustrated by saboteurs, who equally had an interest in grabbing this land.

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Mayanja vowed to liaise with other state agencies to ensure that UMSC is accorded a freehold land title before the end of this year.

Meanwhile, the UMSC Chairperson, Dr Lubega Kisambira says that they are battling land grabbers in all parts of the country with most of them manipulating available systems to legitimize continued illegal occupancy on their land.

Kisambira argues that most of their land wars are fueled by powerful politicians and businessmen and are currently resolving to out-of-court settlements, where squatters are offered resettlement plans.


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