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Court Issues Temporary Orders Stopping Owino Vendors from Handing Over Land Tittle Back To Gov’t

Owino market is always busy

The High Division Civil division has issued interim orders stopping vendors from St. Balikuddembe Market alias Owino from returning the duplicate certificate of title to the Registrar of title for cancellation.

 

Justice Musa Ssekaana issued the interim orders Monday following a successful application by the vendors under the St. Balikuddembe Market Stalls, Space and Lock-up Shops Owners Association (SLOA).

 

The vendors ran to the High court after President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni instructed the Ministry of Lands to give a land title to the Kampala District Land Board.

 

On July 15th, 2022, the Registrar of Titles made a re-entry on the Owino Market land returning it back to Kampala District Land Board.

 

On July 18th, the registrar wrote to St. Balikuddembe Market Stalls, Space and Lock-up Shops Owners Association informing them of the re-entry and instructed them to hand over the duplicate certificate of title to the district land board.

 

The vendors rejected the directive and petitioned the High Court through their lawyers, Majdah Atulinda and Smith Kayanja, arguing that they had rightfully secured a lease on the market land and were hence the rightful owners.

They asked the High Court for interim orders stopping the registrar from canceling their title pending the conclusion of their application.

 

In his ruling, Justice Ssekaana directed the vendors not to surrender the titles until the main application challenging the registrar’s order is heard. He certified the application for the interim orders as urgent, saying that it shall be heard during the court vacation.

 

Background

 

In 2010, SSLOA applied for a lease over Owino land. They submitted a proposal to KCCA for the redevelopment of the market into a modern commercial area subdivided into condominium units. In May 2020, the group secured a letter of no objection from KCCA provided they fulfill the Physical Planning requirements.

 

Unfortunately,  a year later President Museveni directed KCCA to repossess all City markets and abattoirs that had been put in private hands. He ordered the Minister of Kampala to with immediate effect remove from the government markets the Association leaders and supervise the sellers to elect new leaders.

 

Museveni stated that many of the market leaders then registered themselves as the proprietors of the markets instead of the Association of sellers or vendors. This prompted Owino vendors St. Balikuddembe Market Stalks, Space and Lockups Shop Owners Association- SSLOA to petition High Court in November 2020.

 

They obtained an injunction barring KCCA from taking over the Market until they have settled with the vendors. KCCA however went ahead and took over the market.

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