Wife of former Kenyan Vice President accused of land grabbing in Uganda

Wife of former Kenyan Vice President accused of land grabbing in Uganda
Cases of land fraud in Uganda are so common. Uganda has been a target of this trend for land grabbing, largely because the Ugandan Government is eager to attract foreign investment. This has caused particular problems for local people who have customary land rights. COURTESY PHOTO

Kabarole, Uganda | URN | Beatrice Karanja Nyindombi, the wife to former Kenyan Vice President Dr. Josephat Njuguna Karanja is being accused of land grabbing in Kabarole district. Hussein Juma, a resident of Fort Portal accuses Nyindombi of grabbing his land measuring 73 hectares on Block 45, Plot 7 in Harugongo Sub County.

In his letter to the Commissioner Land Registration, Haruna Golooba that this publication has seen, Juma says it all started in 1990 when he fell sick and asked Nyindombi to lend him Kenya Shillings 12,000 to enable him get treatment. According to Juma, he didn’t heal and asked for another loan of Uganda Shillings 1,150,000 million from Nyindombi in 1997.

Nyindombi, who was in Kenya, sent Juma the money through her brother only identified as Kahwa who handed it over to him. According to Juma, there was a mutual agreement that he pays back the money when he gets it. As part of security for the loan, Nyindombi also asked for Juma for the lease title of his land, which he handed over.

Read Also: Kisozi family accuses President Museveni of land grabbing

In his letter, Juma says that in 2010, Nyindombi sought his permission to utilise the land as he looks for the money to pay her, a request he accepted. According to Juma, he finally received the money in 2014 but couldn’t trace Nyindombi to pay her back.

Juma got suspicious of foul play in 2015 and decided to conduct a search on his title through his lawyers of V. Agaba Advocates. The search results returned on December 2, 2015 showing that Juma was still the registered land owner.

However, in 2016 Nyindombi reportedly went to Juma’s home in Kasusu Fort Portal with documents seeking his signature authorizing her to evict settlers on the land, which she got.

“Later, I discovered that she had registered her mother, Serina Kesihere, on my title. She later transferred the land in her name. By her [Nyindombi] presenting documents full of falsehoods, she made your office make a mistake [of giving her a land title] because I have never sold any land to her and have never signed any sale agreement for my lease land,” reads Juma’s letter to the commissioner.

A source familiar with the matter told this publication on condition of anonymity that after registering the land in her mother’s name, Nyindombi transferred it into her names in 2016 and acquired a freehold title for it, a copy of which this publication has seen.

Read Also: Land grabber attempted to con President Museveni

It is this land title that Juma wants cancelled by the Commissioner Land Registration in Kampala but his request hasn’t yielded results. On July 7, 2019, Juma filed a complaint at Harugongo Police station where three cases of forging a land tittle, uttering false documents, and impersonation were opened against Nyindombi.

According to the Officer in Charge of Criminal Investigations Department at Fort Portal Central Police Station, Godliver Twinomugisha, officers from the Lands Department in the Criminal Investigations Directorate – CID Kampala picked up the case file on July 12, 2019 for perusal immediately it was delivered to her office. Nyindombi couldn’t be traced for comment because her contacts are unknown.

Land grab­bing in Uganda – who will speak for the op­pressed?

All over the world land has been known to be vi­tal as­pect of hu­man life since all hu­man­ity de­pends on it for its ex­is­tence.

Land is what de­scribes peo­ple as a com­mu­nity, gives them a live hood and is a source of food and in­come when used for agri­cul­ture and other pur­poses of de­vel­op­ment. Glob­ally, es­pe­cially in African coun­tries there is in­creas­ing need for agri­cul­tural land that will sus­tain food pro­duc­tion to cover the food in­se­cu­ri­ties that has caused land fights.

So­ci­ety’s fights over land has be­come a very nor­mal phe­nom­ena in an in­creas­ing pop­u­lated to­day’s world of Glob­al­iza­tion where cul­ture, eco­nomic and so­cial as­pects rule.

It is from these arisen need that “land grab­bing” was born where few pow­er­ful in­di­vid­u­als both multi­na­tional and do­mes­tic in­vestors grabs, lease or re­place com­mu­ni­ties and ac­quire land that right­fully be­longs to the poor for their own in­ter­est.

The rules and laws guid­ing own­er­ship of land in Uganda is not well stip­u­lated and its be­ing ma­nip­u­lated by the few pow­er­ful elites and for­eign­ers- this con­tin­ues to be a sad oc­curence in the country.