General Kale Kayihura and former Inspector General of Police has been pinned in the land grabbing row between Mbrarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) professor’, William Isharaza’s family and Edith Kekimuri in Kemiyonga Kashari, Mbarara District. Grace Namutebi Isharaza who happens to be the widow to the Late professor Isharaza testified before the commission of inquiry into land matters that after the death of her husband in 2016, policemen stormed her family home and arrested all the people who they found there including Jovial Kemirembe the caretaker of their family farm.
She further added that when she tried to seek for reasons for the arrests from the policemen, they were told that they were working on orders from above.She testified that she tried to talk to Mbarara police authorities but she was not given answers until when she met the then IGP Kale Kayihura. She said that when she met Kayihura, the General told her that he couldn’t help her but promised to find an alternative time for another meeting.
She told the commission that she later realized that Kayihura was the one behind her eviction because he wanted the land to be given to Edith Kekimuri, a young fiancé to Isharaza. She said that Kale and Kekimuri combined forces to push her and her five children off the land because she was not a westerner. She further revealed that she got some breathing space when Kayihura was fired from the Police force and the authorities that replaced him ordered the policemen he had deployed on the land to withdraw.
Namutebi also pinned city lawyer Frank Kanduho for attempting to grab her land. She said one day when she was at her home in Nazigo, Kayunga district, she received a phone call from Kanduho informing her of a meeting at Kashari to read for them the will left behind by her husband.
She said that she contacted her children Musiime Isharaza, Mwesigwa Isharaza, Muhanguzi Isharaza, Mirembe Mwebaze Isharaza and other family members to attend the meeting. She said that immediately when they reached the meeting, Kanduho entered with an auspicious look and warned them about the will he was going to read for them.
“You people might see me as a young person but I have seen a lot of things and am more knowledgeable. I am hereby warning you never to attempt to change what the deceased put in his will. I have seen people terrorized by ghosts, so to avoid such scenarios avoid changing what is recorded in this will,” Kanduho reportedly said.
Namutebi said that Kanduho started reading the will but whatever he read was forged because some of the children’s names were not written properly. She testified that after reading the will, Namutebi and his children asked for a copy but Kanduho refused to give it to them. She further revealed that they looked for engineer Tabaro Tugume who was appointed to execute the will but still she was not given a copy, a thing which surprised her.
However, Namutebi told the commission that her children managed to get pictures of the will using their phones which they used as evidence when they reported the matter to CID department Kibuli. She said that police forced Kanduho to surrender a copy of the will which the police later used to verify whether the will was signed by Isharaza.
She said that the police discovered that the will was forged. Earlier, Namutebi told the commission that they bought the 87 acres of land on Block 3 plot 4 Ankole together with her husband in 1982 from John Ibara. She said that she was the one who paid the money because Isharaza was studying his PHD program abroad and by then, she was working at Tororo Girls’ School.
She testifies that after duly purchasing the land, she agreed with her husband to register the land in Isharaza’s names. She said in 1990, they relocated to Mbarara and she was given a job as headmistress Ntare School. Her husband was also given a job at Mbarara university. She told the commission that because their mission was to develop their land, they established an animal farm and banana plantations on the land. She revealed that in the 1990s, her husband got a loan of shs58m from Uganda commercial bank without her consent.
She said that secretly, her husband had failed to service the loan and the bank threatened to take their family property. She testified that Isharaza went into hiding in Kabale because the bank was looking for him and he feared being humiliated before the public being a university professor. She said that as a married woman, she looked for all means to rescue their marital home. She decided to talk to Uganda Commercial Bank officials. She told the commission that by that time, the commercial bank properties were being transferred to Non-performing Asserts Recovering Trust, so she was advised to talk to them.
She testified that she pleaded with officers from the Non-performing Assets Recovering Trust not to auction their family land because she was a wife to Isharaza and she was willing to pay. She said that she was allowed to contest and hence she was became the top bidder and bought the land at Shs20.5m.
She said that after retaining the land, she was given all the necessary documents and she transferred the land from Isharaza’s name into her name. She testified that she allowed her husband to come back home. However, when he returned, he turned violent and developed deadly vices of adultery and alcoholism. She said that one time, her husband was given a job with Agha Khan foundation in Bushenyi. He spent only one month there but one day when she came back home, she found her husband had married another woman.
“My lord I will never forget, even though I will not expose my husband but the day I found him with a woman on my bed, not sleeping but playing sex, on my bed,” Namutebi wept before the commission. This forced justice Catherine Bamugemereire the chairperson of the commission to adjourn the hearing. Namutebi also told the commission that when she tried to register her land into her children’s names, she found the land already fraudulently transferred in Isharaza’s names.
She said that right now her land was taken by Kekimuru her co-wife. She said that Kekimuru also took their family car, land in Ntare and Sanga. She said that she now abodes in Kayunga even after working hard her whole life to live a good life in retirement. She asked the commission to help her retain her land.
The commission is still investigating the matter and Kekimuri is expected also to testify before the commission