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Camilla Care

Muslims lose land battle with Jinja hospital

Vaseline 1 month ago

The Uganda Land Commission (ULC) has ordered the Ugandan Muslim Supreme Court to vacate the disputed land at the Jinja Regional Referral Hospital (JRRH).

The four-hectare land is located on Nile Avenue and extends from Plot 31-39 in Jinja City, adjacent to JRRH and the Jinja Muslim Cemetery.

The Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) had erected a fence around the disputed land and used it for various activities including gatherings and Islamic prayers.

Speak with Monitor On Saturday, JRRH Chairman of the Board Dr David Charles Mukisa said Muslims were ordered to leave the country after a meeting.

“At a meeting we had in Kampala, chaired by the ULC Secretary, it was declared that the land belongs to ULC with JRRH as the user entity. This was after all parties had submitted documents proving ownership,” he said.

Dr. Mukisa added that “the hospital was directed to proceed with its plans for the redevelopment of the land.”

“The title that ULC has for that country has been given to the hospital,” he noted.

Hospital authorities say they want to use the land to build facilities including the regional blood bank, heart center, dialysis center and a cancer treatment unit.

Meanwhile, Friday’s meeting was reportedly attended by representatives from UMSC, JRRH, the Ministry of Health and the Jinja Municipal Council.

Jinja District Kadhi Sheikh Ismail Adi Basoga earlier said: “After the meeting, I told them that I will release the official statement after meeting the Mufti of Uganda. We are still preparing for the final decision from head office.”

The UMSC says they want to use the land to establish a prayer center and shopping arcade to generate income.

Jinja Municipal Secretary Edward Lwanga said a meeting will be “urgently held to decide the next step following ULC’s ruling.”

“The JRRH board will jointly decide with the Muslims and the city authorities on how the Muslims will access the cemetery because the road connecting the cemetery is in the middle of the disputed land and the court has also ordered that it be blocked. ” he explained.

In the civil suit 193 of October 6, 2009, between UMSC and ULC over the ownership of the same land, Judge Michael Elubu ruled in favor of the Commission on April 18, 2022.

ULC had entrusted ownership of the land to JRRH.

On March 12, 2024, Minister of State Sam Mayanja visited the disputed land and decided that it belongs to Muslims “because they have been using it as a cemetery since 1927.”

This prompted the residents of Jinja to protest against the minister’s directive on March 21.

On April 15, hundreds of patients were left unattended as JRRH medics in their medical uniforms put down their tools to participate in a peaceful demonstration across the disputed territory.

On April 18, security organs led by Resident City District Commissioner Darius Nandinda announced that the disputed land was off-limits to both JRRH and Muslims and that security had taken over, pending the Kampala meeting.