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Land Commissioner Kulata Grilled Over Temangalo Land Registration :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Land Commissioner Kulata Grilled Over Temangalo Land Registration

Early this week, a Canadian-Asian family petitioned the probe committee claiming ownership of 366.2 acres of the land in Temangalo. Nazim Moosa one of the claimants, a resident in the Canadian city of Vancouver, said the land registered as Temangalo Tea Estate Limited TTEL, was owned by his parents Mohammed Hassnali Moosa who died in 1997 and Sherbanu Hassnali Moosa.
Interdicted Land Registration Commissioner, Sarah Kulata with Land Probe Deputy Lead Counsel John Bosco Suuza.

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Interdicted Land Registration Commissioner Sarah Kulata has been questioned over her role in the registration of a piece of land purchased by National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in Temangalo, Wakiso district.

Kulata appeared before the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Probe Commission and confirmed handling the land title registration process from 1987 when it was owned by a one Abbas Mawanda who later sold it to businessman Amos Nzeyi before the land was acquired by NSSF in 2008.

NSSF purchased 463.87 acres of private mailo land in six parcels from two sellers on March 10, 2008. The sellers included businessman Amos Nzeyi and Arma Limited, a company owned by former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. The land titles were transferred to NSSF on January 29 2009.

But early this week, a Canadian-Asian family petitioned the probe committee claiming ownership of 366.2 acres of the land in Temangalo. Nazim Moosa one of the claimants, a resident in the Canadian city of Vancouver, said the land registered as Temangalo Tea Estate Limited (TTEL), was owned by his parents Mohammed Hassnali Moosa who died in 1997 and Sherbanu Hassnali Moosa.

He said that his family left Uganda in 1972 when the then President Idi Amin expelled Asians. Nazim submitted documentation showing that his father acquired a leasehold title on the land on October 14, 1924, from Daniel Mugwanya. The lease expires in 2024.

Ebert Byenkya, the Land Probe Lead Counsel tasked Kulata to give a chronology of events leading to the issuance of the land title. Kulata explained that the land was first registered on February 24, 1922, in the name of Daniel Ssaku and later on July 17, 1944, transferred to Daniel Ssaku Mugwanya Kato Senior.

Kulata explained that on October 19, 1944, a lease which was granted to Frederick George Tolbert was subsequently extended for 49 years from August 7, 1959, in favour of Temangalo Tea Estates Limited (TTEL). The lease was due for expiry in 2003.

The Land Probe also learnt that on October 23 1983, a one Hajji Ahmed Keeya registered interest on the land and lodged a caveat, saying he bought the land from Daniel Mugwanya Kato at 500,000 Shillings. The caveat indicated that Mugwanya Kato had agreed to sell the land to Keeya.

 However, Byenkya raised a red flag questioning whether there was proof to show that Kato had obtained letters of administration. Kulata responded saying that Mugwanya Kato could have authorized the transaction prior to his demise.

 "As long as the transfer was signed before he died, that has been the practice for the last 30 years I have been in practice," said Kulata.

 She, however, distanced herself from this particular transaction saying that at the time in 1983, she was not yet employed in the Lands office saying she joined in 1985.

 

Kulata noted that the land was transferred on June 29, 1987, and duly registered in Abbas Mawanda's name. Kulata then revealed that she had seen documentation of the lease being cancelled on October 18, 1988, immediately after the land was transferred to Mawanda.

She said Mawanda caused subdivision of the land to create Plots 12 and 16 and Plot 16 was further subdivided to produce plots 20 and 21, all registered in his name. She added that on October 27 1988, Plot 12 and 16, were transferred to Amos Nzeyi but that she did not know how the re-entries showing ownership were conducted.

She noted that the later transactions were conducted, based on a special certificate of title issued in 1983 and later 1991 when the Mugwanya family could not trace the original certificate.

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire observed that Amos Nzeyi appears on the mutation from 1988 and eventually became the biggest beneficiary of the tea estate. Bamugemereire said that evidence before her Commission indicates that in just nine days, an estate of 366 acres was subdivided under unclear circumstances.

 

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Bamugemereire asked Kulata whether she was intimidated by anyone for her to allow the questionable subdivision of land.

 

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