High Court blocks UPDF takeover of school land

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Jinja. The High Court in Jinja has issued an injunction on the takeover of Guardian Community Nursery and Primary School land by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).
On Monday, more than 500 pupils of Guardian Community Nursery and Primary School in Mpumudde, Kimaka division in Jinja District, were left stranded after UPDF closed the school, claiming ownership of the land on which it sits.
However, an injunction issued by the Jinja High Court deputy registrar, Mr Jesse Byaruhanga Rugyema, ordered UPDF to stop interfering with the activities on the land until March 6, when the matter is to be heard interparty.

“I am issuing this order restraining UPDF from interfering, selling, alienating, constructing, or dealing with Guardian Community Nursery and Primary School land until the court gives a ruling on the matter,’’ the injunction reads in part.
Court has also ordered UPDF to immediately remove the roadblock it had erected and allow pupils and teachers access the school until the due date for hearing the application interparty.
Though an injunction has been issued, there is still heavy UPDF deployment on the contested land.
The school director, Mr James William Muwaya, said pupils are currently taught at his home.
In 2016, the school proprietor sued the Attorney General, accusing UPDF of grabbing the land on plot M.144 Kibumba Road in Mpumudde, Kimaka Division in Jinja but the respondent never appeared in court and mediation between two parties was postponed to February 7.
The mediation, however, flopped.
When contacted, Ministry of Defence spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, said currently there is dialogue between the school administrators, local authorities in Jinja and UPDF aimed at resolving the matter.
“Discussions have been going on between us, school administrators and local authorities in Jinja and we are giving it a time framework of four days in which we shall have come to an amicable solution because the school administrators know that the land belongs to the Ministry of Defence and only military activities are allowed on it but it looks as if they have not taken any step to stop their activities on the land,” Brig Karemire said.
The school in question has been in existence for close to 15 years.

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