President Yoweri Museveni has Friday promised to build St Peter’s Church in Ndeeba which was this week demolished on an order of Court and the subsequent greenlight given by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA)
The demolition of the church followed property wrangle between the Church of Uganda and the joint administrators of the estate of the late Evelyn Nachwa, a Buganda Kingdom Princess, that has lasted over 40 years.
In 2008, the joint administrators sued the Church of Uganda, the Commissioner of Land Registration and other parties accusing them of fraudulently registering the said land in names of Bishop Danistan Nsubuga, Rev Yuda Kitaka, and Esau Kizito.
But the case was never disposed of, until August 21, 2019, when the High Court Land Division ruled that the land in question was still in the vested interest of the late Evelyn (Evarini) Nachwa and that it had been fraudulently registered in the names of Bishop Danistan Nsubuga, Rev Yuda Kitaka, and Esau Kizito.
Court further ordered the commissioner Land registration to return the duplicate certificate of title with respect to the suit to the administrators of the estate of the late Evelyn Nachwa.
Last month, the plaintiff in the matter went back to the court seeking an order to demolish the Church structure on the land in question which Justice John Eudes Keitirima so granted. The decision by Justice Eudes Keitirima was based on the fact that the administrators of the estate had been declared rightful owner of the property last year.
But on Friday, the President described as unscrupulous, the people who demolished the church before noting that the act was extreme.
“I am saddened by this incident and I give the church assurances that those complicit will be punished. Even if the church was in the wrong, ordering demolition was extreme. Dialogue would have resolved this matter,” noted the President after visiting the demolished church.
Several individuals including “KCCA’s Ag. Director Physical Planning, Katongole Ivan and 3 Senior Police officers have since been arrested in connection to the demolition.
According to the President, “judges should have limits and understand public interest. Demolishing a church is a curse.”
“I am going to invite the Namirembe Diocese Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira, and engage with all parties involved in this conflict to find a lasting solution. The bottom line is that the Church will retain this land and we shall build a new church. I have now joined this war,” said the President.
The Head of State would later dismiss media reports claiming the government was behind the demolished of the church.
Earlier this week, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Dr Steven Kaziimba Mugalu described the act as barbaric and an indicator of how some people had lost respect for the house of God. He would further appeal to government to help in reconstructing the Church.