Mityana Public School, the oldest public school in Wamala Sub Region is on the verge of being evicted from its land. Claimants to the school land have already served management with evictions notices through their lawyers of Simon Tendon Kabenge Advocates.
Three of the claimants are Joyce Ziribagwa, Edith Nalwanga and Moses Kamya. Mityana Public School, which has 1360 pupils, occupies plots 1 to 7 on Singo block 425 measuring 0.984 hectares in Mityana Central Division in Mityana Municipality.
Available records show that the school occupied the disputed land by virtue of the sub lease issued to His Highness the Aga Khan Karim Shab Al-Hussaini in November 12, 1958. Following the expulsion of Indians from Uganda in 1972 by the then President Idi Amin, Aga Khan left the school in the hands of the community before it was taken over by government.
However, it is alleged that the school has been operating on the illegally for the last 20 years following the expiry of the lease in 1997 due to nonpayment of rent. "Upon this reentry all property and development on the land reverted and belongs to our client. The said school has continued to illegally occupy the land for the last twenty years without paying rent and denied our clients colossal amounts of money and exposed them to financial loss of six billion shilling," reads the eviction notice in part.
Aida Nagadya, the Head Teacher Mityana Public School, says they are puzzled with the situation because they don't know what to do next. Nagadya says she has reported the development to the School Management Committee and Mityana municipality authorities.
"I had heard of the land lords way back when they wanted to evict the police station, which is on the same block with us. However, the police must have settled their issues with them (land lord) and now they have turned to us," Nagadya told Uganda radio network.
The Mityana Municipal Town Clerk, Joseph Ssebudde, says there have been several engagements with the land lords to forge a way forward. He however, says they hit a snag when the land lords demanded for arrears worth Shillings six billion, which the municipality doesn't have.
Ssebudde says they have since asked the Ministry of Lands to acquire the property using the land fund.
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The Solicitor General's Office has advised Ministry of Education and to swiftly investigate the matter before any steps are taken. A number of schools in Mityana Municipality lack land titles according to various reports of the Auditor General.
The reports note that the absence of land titles exposes school land to encroachment and disputes. The Auditor General advised the Accounting Officer to expedite the process of acquiring land titles.