The High Court has ordered Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi to produce bank statements of all the money the Mengo administration has collected from people living on the kingdom land.
The financial statements required are in regard to the kingdom’s accounts in Stanbic Bank (Forest Mall Branch) and Bank of Africa (Main Branch) all in the names of Buganda Land Board.
Justice Patricia Basaza ordered the Kabaka to present particulars of all the kingdom’s mailo land returned by government, bearing name of county, block and the plot numbers.
The Kabaka was also ordered to provide details of all individuals occupying the kingdom land and the amount each occupant has paid.
The Kabaka is required to avail the said documents to the petitioner, Mr Kiwanuka Mabirizi, not later than June 30.
Mr Mabirizi, a subject of the kingdom, sued the Kabaka challenging the decision requiring all his subjects living on the kingdom land to register their plots at a fee ranging between Shs100,000 and Shs600,000 depending on the location of the land.
In return, the kingdom said it will issue to the occupant a certificate of land ownership, which is now known as Kyapa mungalo, upon payment of the required fees.
The High Court orders were made following an application by Mr Mabirizi who said he wanted the financial documents for inspection and internalisation to enable him prosecute his petition properly.
Mr Mabirizi sued the Kabaka challenging the compulsory process of registering people living on the kingdom land also known as the Kabaka’s land.
He contends that the Kabaka’s land, where subjects are living, was returned to the king by the central government and is public land collectively owned by the people of Buganda.
He says the Kabaka is only holding the land in trust for his subjects but is not their landlord or master to charge them fees.
Justice Basaza set July 6 for both parties to report on the progress of the availability and inspection of the documents.
On the same date, the court will also hear an application in which a law firm, Wameli and Company Advocates, seeks to be joined as party to the case. Mr Mabirizi is seeking court declarations that Kabaka Mutebi’s actions through the Buganda Land Board to impose compulsory registration and fees and threats to evict people who will not register their land in the king’s name, are illegal and thus null and void.
Mr Mabirizi also wants court to declare that such actions are an infringement on the subjects’ right to live on the land.
He is also seeking a declaration that the collection of a 10 per cent charge on the sale of land registered in the Kabaka’s names as per the Restitution of Assets and Properties Act is unconstitutional.
The Kabaka, through his agent, Bashir Juma Kizito, a surveyor at Buganda Land Board, contends that Mr Mabirizi’s petition is riddled with falsehoods and should not be entertained by court.
“…the respondent (Kabaka) equally has a right to own property and in exercising his right, the respondent has never deprived any person of any interest or right over the property of any description neither does he have any intention to deprive any individual of any property,” reads Kizito’s response to the petition.
He contends that registration of occupants on the kingdom mailo land in Kabaka’s name is meant to protect their interest and that occupants have voluntarily registered with the Buganda Land Board.