National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and businessman Amos Nzeyi have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the acquisition and ownership of 366 acres of land in Temangalo, Wakiso District.
Temangalo Tea Estate, a company owned by an Indian family of Muhammad Hassanali Moosa, sued NSSF and Mr Nzeyi in 2016 seeking to repossess the land on claims that it belonged to them.
However, the Land Division of the High Court yesterday dismissed the case with costs.
Justice John Eudes Keitirima ruled that the case was stifled after a fixed length of time irrespective of the merits of the particulars of the case.
“Since the plaintiff/respondent (Temangalo Tea Estate) cause of action rose way back in 1993 and instead filed this suit in 2016, which is 23 years after, they are barred by limitation as the suit was instituted outside the statutory limitation as provided for under Section of the Limitation Act,” the judge ruled.
Section 5 of the Limitation Act provides that no action shall be brought by any person to recover any land after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the right of action accrued to him or her or, if it first accrued to some person through whom he or she claims to that person.
In 2016, M/s Temangalo Tea Estate had sued NSSF and Mr Nzeyi jointly with Edrisi Kintu, Mwami Nalukenge Mawanda, Abbas Mawanda and the Commissioner for Land Registration claiming that it was granted repossession certificate by the Minister of Finance in August 1993 and was seeking to recover the said land.
Through its lawyers, the company had claimed that prior to expulsion in 1972 during the Amin regime, the family had a 79-year lease effective September 1924 and was due to expire in August 2003.
However, NSSF and Mr Nzeyi filed a counter-suit seeking to have the case struck out citing the limitation and failure to disclose a cause of action in time.
In the ruling delivered yesterday, Justice Keitirima agreed with NSSF and Nzeyi that Temangalo Tea Estate did not explain why they delayed to file the case as required by law.
According to the court record in 1993, Temangalo Tea Estate filed a case against Mr Nzeyi and it was adjourned indefinitely for negotiations which failed but it did not pursue the case.
“One would conclude that the respondent (Temangalo Tea Estate) simply abandoned the said application because nothing would have stopped them to pursue it. Negotiations could not have taken over 23 years as the respondent would wish to intimate and if they indeed took that period, it was to their detriment,” the judge ruled.
The court decision to settle the claims over ownership of the Temangalo land came after more than a decade following an investigation by Parliament over the controversial sale of the Temangalo land to NSSF at Shs11 billion.
Records show that Mr Nzeyi sold the land at Temangalo to NSSF in 2009 after he acquired it in 1988 with a view of establishing a dairy farm but bought it in phases from former managing director of Uganda Development Bank, Mr Abbas Mawanda.
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Publish date : 2019-11-29 17:49:43