By Daudi Zirimala
High Court Judge Henry Peter Adonyo has dismissed Hassan Male Mabirizi’s case against the Kabaka of Buganda, challenging the compulsory process of registering people living on Kabaka’s land at a fee ranging from 100,000 to 600,000 shillings.
Justice Adonyo said he cannot deal with a matter which is already decided by a superior court that is the Court of Appeal.
The Judge noted that Mabirizi’s case was declared incompetent by a Panel of Court of Appeal Justices led by Fredrick Egonda Ntende.
In the ruling Justice Ntende said Mabirizi ‘s claim against the Kabaka is not tenable in law and court cannot issue an order directing him to disclose bank statements, and other kingdom documents.
The Judge noted that Mabirizi neither had permission to sue Kabaka on behalf of others nor a court order permitting him to sue on behalf of others adding that the individuals he claimed to be representing are not named.
Mabirizi has been ordered to pay costs to Kabaka for wasting his time in prosecuting a case which is incompetent.
On Monday Mabirizi asked Justice Adonyo to stay the hearing of this case pending disposal of his appeal in the Supreme Court.
Mabirizi was dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal that quashed the decision of High court Judge Patricia Basaza who had in error compelled Kabaka to disclose all bank statements detailing the money collected from the people living on the kingdom official mailo land.
However Justice Adonyo has ruled that Mabirizi’s application for stay of proceedings lacks merit, the Court of Appeal having nullified his entire claim against the Kabaka.
Buganda Attorney general David Mpanga welcomed the ruling saying the case was an attempt by Mabirizi to gain fame and money.
Mabirizi sued Kabaka Ronald Mutebi challenging the compulsory registration of people living on the king’s land at a sh600,000 fee, is illegal. According to Mabirizi Kabaka is only a trustee of the official Mailo land. He wanted court to outlaw the 10% charge levied by Buganda Land Board on the sale value of land.
But BLD noted that the registration was voluntary. The exercise is intended to regularize tenancy of people leaving on the Kabaka’s land. The registration was conducted in 2016 and Buganda Land Board of head of legal Ndawula Barnabas back then explained that Kabaka’s land refers to all that land vested in the Kabaka of Buganda by virtue of his office and held in custody for the people of Buganda.
Kabaka’s land includes his Kings official estate ‘Olusuku lwa Ssabasajja’ measuring 350 square miles covering the counties of Kyadondo, Busiiro, Kyagwe, including such areas as Munyonyo , Makindye and Buziga.
It also includes the Sazza and Gomboloola estates measuring 8 square miles and 49 acres respectively found in all districts of Buganda covering some parts of Mukono, Wakiso and Kampala and different areas in rural districts in Buganda region.
It also covers all land that was managed and controlled by the Buganda Land Board as a creature of the 1962 constitution of Uganda, which entails urban and peri-urban areas of municipalities and towns in Buganda.