Miscarriage of Justice

DATE: Thur. 29 Feb. 2024

TO: Director of Public Prosecutions - Republic of Uganda

TO: Attorney General - Republic of Uganda

TO: Chief Magistrate - Kasese, Republic of Uganda

TO: Registrar of Courts - Republic of Uganda

TO: Office of the President - Republic of Uganda

TO: Chairperson - Inter-Ministerial Committee for Busongora 

TO: Minister for Lands, Housing & Urban Development

TO: Minister for Gender, Labor & Social Development

FROM: HRM Ndahura II [Daniel Kashagama]

      Traditional Leader 

      Busongora Kingdom


Dear Sir / Ma'am,

I urgently bring to your attention a distressing situation that requires prompt and resolute action. As the aggrieved Traditional Leader of Busongora, I find myself unjustly PROSECUTED for steadfastly resisting land-grabbers, who are attempting to steal land allocated by Cabinet for compensation and resettlement of the endangered Basongora community. I am particularly concerned about the case in which I was improperly charged with Malicious Damage for allegedly destroying a non-existent banana plantation, among other things.

After successfully defending myself against the criminalized civil matter that included irregular charging decisions - such as the RSA sanctioning files before police statements were even made; and after a new Chief Magistrate rashly and unfairly reinstated charges that had already been formally dismissed by the same court; and after the Plaintiff was unable to comply with mediation resolutions involving the RPC and RDC because he had already sold the land he encroached upon; - I was nonetheless JUSTLY ACQUITTED of Malicious Damage by the Kasese Chief Magistrate's Court. [Case No: Kas 517-2020].

Regardless of the distressing irregularities, and the financial burdens and strain inflicted on me by the case, acquittal by the Kasese Magistrate's Court vindicated my efforts to prevent unlawful seizure of community lands and properties.

However, despite the fact that I was rightfully acquitted, an unfair decision was later made by the Fort Portal High Court appeals judge - HIS WORSHIP VINCENT MUGABO - whose adverse judgment against myself is based on crude and contradictory claims by Prosecution witnesses, and on glaring omissions and misrepresentation of key evidence in my favor, as well as violation of legal grounds - including Estoppel, Attribution, Reasonable Doubt, etc.

Encouraged by HW Mugabo's adverse judgment against the Traditional Leader, encroachers have cut our trees for charcoal and have started forcibly plowing new gardens in our 10 acre community land grant. Despite long-standing orders of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Busongora [IMC-B] requiring the police, district and state and authorities to cooperate with - and assist - the duly-constituted Traditional Authorities, appeals to interdict encroachers on our community lands frequently go unanswered.

The lack of cooperation is also expressed in how state officials randomly accredit unaccountable and self-selected Basongora to represent the community - while ignoring the duly-constituted Traditional Authorities. This has allowed confusion and illegal land transactions to escalate. Some MPs - such as Gideon Mujungu - openly sponsor land grabbing; district leaders - including the Kasese LC5 Chairperson - have bought community land; numerous Local Council chairpersons - such as Jackson Nyakairu of Nyakakyindo - are prolific land brokers. Also involved are predatory money lenders and even influential public figures. Hajj Hassan Basajjabalaba and his manager - Medard Karobwa - acquired 70 acres (over 500 plots) of community land at less than One Million Shillings per plot. [Case No: Kas 547-2023].

A group of Basongora land-grabbers - in which the Plaintiff favored by the judgment of HW Mugabo is involved - has members and supporters who have arrogated to themselves massive parcels of community land - Lutwama has 300 acres, Rwabombo has 600 acres, etc. Some in this group have organized attacks against the Banyarwanda at Kayanja, Bakiga at Kanyamihini, and against fellow Basongora at Nyakakyindo, Muhokya, etc. This group has also attempted to destroy the Busongora Traditional Institution, through defamation and by forcibly occupying institutional and communal lands and properties, inciting violence, and funding the filing of trumped-up criminal charges against anyone that resists.

The mandated duties of the Traditional Authorities - whether gazetted or not - include service as custodians of customary and communal lands under the Land Act (227/88), as well as service to law enforcement - through traditional courts where applicable - under the Magistrate's Act (Cap 16/10). The Traditional Leader of the Busongora is also the authorized Grantor/Settlor of the Busongora Community Land Trust - an organ expressly created by the Uganda Cabinet in order to hold our communal lands in trust for the beneficiary community.


I pray that the Director of Public Prosecutions, Attorney General, and the Kasese Chief Magistrate's Court - as well as other authorized judicial officials - will recall for REVIEW, the relevant files pertaining to the malicious prosecution of the Traditional Leader of Busongora. The responsible government officials - and the courts - can and should help the duly-constituted Traditional Authorities to bring an end to the neglect, land grabbing, and sale of Busongora's community lands and cultural sites.

Thank you for your urgent and resolute attention to this matter.