The Land Division of High Court in Kampala has issued a temporary injunction stopping government, Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA, and any of their agents from carrying out any activity on Old taxi park land.
The Old taxi park was closed for renovation in May 2020, and the Deputy Registrar Land Division, Janeva Natukunda has ordered that the status quo be maintained.
Earlier this year, five companies, Lukyamuzi Investments Ltd owning 0.058 hectares, DKS Uganda Ltd (0.135 hectares), Key and Ham Investments Ltd (0.058 hectares), Abamwe Transporters Ltd (0.067 hectares), and Kabale Distributors Ltd (0.55 hectares), sued KCCA and government for encroaching on their land.
The companies say they acquired the land from the then Kampala City Council (KCC), but KCC didn’t give them vacant possession of their land. In 2006, they went to court and in 2017, settled the matter through a consent judgement under which KCCA agreed to sublease the land. It was agreed that the plot owners would develop their plots into multilevel parking and commercial facility in accordance with designs and structural drawings approved by KCCA.
The companies represented by their lawyer Nasser Serunjoji, told court that in mid 2020, KCCA started renovating the park and in August, they realised that the Authority had encroached on part of their land. They asked KCCA to stop the encroachment and upon numerous engagements, entered a consent agreement with KCCA in December 2020 in which KCCA, agreed to grant them their plots after completing works on the carpet.
Clause one of the Memorandum of Understanding states, “KCCA to grant the developers vacant possession of their respective properties immediately, subsequent to the refurbishment of the carpet area of the Old Taxi Park, but in any case before taxis are allowed back into the same and to develop their plots in line with the approved development plan, in accordance with the terms of the consent judgment and the lease agreements”
However, court heard that the companies later learnt that KCCA was planning to open the park on 20th October 2021, without granting them vacant possession of their land. They sought an interim injunction which court granted on 19th October 2021. Now in her current temporary injunction, Natukunda says the companies may suffer injustice if KCCA is let to continue operations on the land yet the compensation that would be offered by KCCA is not yet quantified.
She added that if the main suit is determined in favour of the companies, then it might be inconveniencing where any changes whatsoever made to the land do not suit the quiet enjoyment of the companies. The temporary injunction shall be in force until the case is determined or court decides otherwise.