The land dispute involving Mbarara Muslim District, three Muslims, and businessman Sulaiman Tumusiime has been resolved out of court after a seven-year legal battle.
The parties reached a consent judgment, which was signed by all parties and a High Court judge. The land in question, plot 68, is part of the cemetery that the Muslim community in Ankole region has been using since 1912.
Mbarara Muslim District and three other Muslims challenged the illegal transfer of the land to Tumusiime's name, who is the proprietor of Tusu Petrol Uganda Limited.
According to the Consent Judgment, Tumusiime admitted to unlawfully transferring and registering the land in his name without the plaintiff's consent or authorization. He agreed to rectify the error and transfer the land back to Mbarara Muslim District's name at his own cost.
The parties also agreed that Mbarara Muslim district would lease the land back to Tumusiime for 40 years, and upon regaining the proprietorship, the lease agreement would be executed. During negotiations, Mbarara Muslim district agreed that Tumusiime would erect a storied building that complies with Islamic values and norms. After the lease period, Tumusiime would return the property to the Muslims.
Hajji Rashid Mukasa, the Chairman of Mbarara Muslim district, revealed that Tumusiime had already transferred the suit property back to the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) Mbarara District.
The parties also agreed that Tumusiime would provide alternative land for the cemetery, which he did in Rubeho Kabaare Village, Masha Sub County, in Isingiro district. The land measures 100 by 100 ft. and is adjacent to the mosques.
The Kadhi Mbarara Muslim District, Abdallah Mukwaya, assured the Muslim community that the names of the Title of the land in contention had been changed from Tusu Petro Uganda to Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Mbarara Muslim district.
He also condemned people who used social media to abuse Muslim leaders for purportedly selling off the cemetery land, noting that they should instead appreciate that the leaders recovered the land that had been lost.