Minister Onek named in school land grabbing


A minister has been named before the land probe commission in the alleged fraudulent acquisition of land belonging to City High School in Kololo, an upscale suburb in Kampala.
The administrators of the school yesterday named Mr Hilary Onek, the Minister in charge of Disaster Preparedness in the Office of the Prime Minister, as one of the claimants of part of the school land.
Rev Can Job Mbukure, the chairman board of governors of the school, told the land probe team that Mr Onek bought 0.27 hectares of the school land from Mr Charles Dalton Opwonya, a lawyer and former president of Parents Association of Kampala.
Without revealing the dates, Rev Mbukure said Mr Opwonya sold part of the school land purporting to help in raising funds to meet Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) ground rent.
“Mr Opwonya happens to be a lawyer and used his office to retain our title. We raised Shs52m and paid KCCA then and we have receipts, but since then, we are battling to get our land title. Mr Opwonya said he is giving the title to the person who sued us but when we were summoned to court, they told that we were sued by Mr Onek,” Rev Mbukure said.
He added that Mr Opwonya is also demanding money for representing the school in the land sale.

Rev Mbukure said the school was established by the Parents Association of Kampala before government took over its management, adding that to claim the same school by the Indian Association failed.
Mr Thomas Sseruwagi, the head teacher, said Mr Onek sued the school claiming for a land title but instead withdrew the case demanding Shs200m as the value for the purchase of the land from Mr Opwonya.
The commission yesterday also conducted fact-finding visits of four schools whose land is under dispute.
At Nakasero Primary School, the land probe team established that part of the land for school playground was parcelled out by Sanga Courts and another part was grabbed by Prestigious Apartments Ltd owned by Ephraim Ntaganda, among other unidentified developers.
Commissioner Rose Nakaayi said KCCA has since acquired a lease title for the remaining playground to construct buildings by 2027 without involving the school in their agreement with Uganda Land Commission.
The land inquiry observed that the titles held by KCCA, plots 34A1 and 34c were not included on the school land.

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