Judge Orders Lawyer To Produce Client Accused of Land-Double Dealing

Lady Justice Florence Nakachwa Dollo of Mukono High Court on Wednesday ordered George Muhangi, the legal representative in a case of double-land dealings in Mbeya Island dispute, to produce the person he is representing in the very deceitful transaction.

Justice Nakachwa gave the instruction while presiding over a case where Major Mark Wanyama, a Senior soldier in the Uganda People’s Defense Forces, and Joyce Lutaaya accused Jackson Twinamasiko, a businessman in Mukono, of unlawfully trespassing on their land.

Twinamasiko took legal action against Lutaaya for reselling seven acres of land on Mbeya Island in Mukono to Major Wanyama, even though Twinamasiko had previously purchased it from her for Ugx70 million.

The land originally belonged to Francis Tyaba, who lived in the USA but had given Lutaaya power of attorney to handle the transaction. Various documents presented in court show that Twinamasiko bought the land on November 6, 2019, while Major Wanyama made his purchase on December 19, 2019.

During the court session on Wednesday, Twinamasiko’s lawyers, John Burungu and Steven Turyatunga, requested the court to dismiss additional cases related to the main suit in order to save time and ensure prompt justice for their client.

In response, Muhangi suggested that the court conduct a visit to the disputed area (locus visit) to determine the exact boundaries and current situation before considering settling legal matters raised after the main suit through out-of-court negotiations.

However, Justice Nakachwa granted them one week to collaborate and create a joint schedule of memorandum focusing solely on the main suit. Only after this, she would decide on the date for a visit to the disputed area. The case was adjourned to May 22, 2024.

“Make sure that you come with all your clients as indicated in all the applications, Major Wanyama and Joyce Lutaaya. The court will not tolerate people who sell land to others and then disappear in circumstances when they are needed. They should be present, not on Zoom,” Justice Nakachwa ordered, adding that both parties should prepare witnesses, they will help us find out the facts, and the rest from you the advocates and claimants are inconsequential.

Muhangi attempted to defend his client, Joyce Lutaaya, by stating that they tried to contact her for Wednesday’s session but couldn’t reach her as the telephone numbers were unreachable. However, Turyatunga countered this argument by stating that throughout all the court sessions they’ve had, Lutaaya has never appeared.

“Unless the court passes a court order instructing her to appear before the court, this is a woman who has also snubbed police summons at various levels,” Turyatunga noted.

This website revealed that Lutaaya was summoned by crime investigation officers at Kibuuli, both at the Mukono Police Division and the KMP-East-Jinja Road Police Station, which serves as the Regional Police hub, to answer questions regarding the disputed land. However, she declined to appear.

This situation suggests a concerning trend where individuals in ordinary communities are seemingly able to act with impunity, disregarding legal consequences, even when their actions involve individuals in higher positions of authority.

Background

Businessman Twinamasiko made payment for the seven-acre land at Mbeya Island, disbursing a total sum of Ugx70 million. This financial transaction occurred on two separate occasions, precisely on November 6 and 20, 2019.

Twinamasiko executed these payments via his Dfcu bank account, with the recipient being Lutaaya’s Nino Boutique account, held at Standard Chartered Bank.

Surprisingly, subsequent events unfolded with a disheartening twist. Lutaaya, in a distressing turn of events, allegedly entered into collusion with Major Wanyama, ultimately leading to Twinamasiko’s eviction from the land.

The motivation behind this collaboration seemed to revolve around the enticing offer of an additional Ugx5m for each acre of land that would be transferred from Twinamasiko’s ownership to Major Wanyama’s.

Shockingly, Major Wanyama resorted to aggressive measures to secure the land. He then forcefully occupied the property, deploying armed military personnel to prevent Twinamasiko from accessing or utilising it.

Furthermore, the senior army officer’s actions resulted in significant property damage and destruction, including injuries inflicted upon the casual workers at Twinamasiko’s farm.

Twinamasiko took proactive steps to address the issue by reporting it to the police. He filed a civil suit at Mukono High Court in an attempt to seek legal resolution.