Hussein Katamba, the Lugave clan head, demanding Shs500m for a sacred Nabukalu tree of spirits, has warned that Unra and the contractor of the Busega-Mpigi Expressway will face it rough if they cut down the tree without appeasing the spirits with Shs500m.
On March 10, High Court in Mpigi ruled that Unra should pay Kabaka’s man Katamba only Shs4.6m for the tree and land.
But the man was demanding Shs500m. (Read Story Here).
Justice Anthony Oyuko Ojok ruled that Katamba had failed to provide evidence to prove that the land was a cultural site belonging to the Lugave clan and had been in existence since the 1800s.
“The plaintiff didn’t bring any official from Buganda kingdom to confirm the existence of the cultural site from the Lugave Clan, nor did he bring any of the people who are said to always be going to the site for healing. The plaintiff also failed to prove that the tree was indeed a recognizable cultural site,” further read Ojok’s ruling in part.
“This land is individually owned by the plaintiff for his traditional purposes as a Lugave Clan member. It was only at locus that court found some individuals who were said to be interested in testifying yet the same were never witnesses during the hearing of the case.”
The judge agreed with Unra which said that Katamba should be get Shs3.48m for his 0.083 acres of land, Shs100,000 for his tree and Shs1.07m as a disturbance allowance.
Ojok ordered that Unra should deposit the compensation in court if Katamba refuses it. He also okayed construction on the land.
“Since this court cannot hear from spirits as it only bases on viable evidence adduced before it, I am unable to find the claim of shs500 million justifiable. It is rather gluttonous of the plaintiff to want to reap from what he didn’t sow,” ruled Ojok.
“The defendant is hereby allowed to pay the plaintiff the compensatory amount of Shs4.6m due to him over the said land and if he refuses to take the said money, let it be deposited in court. The defendant can proceed with the road construction over the land.”
But Katamba has warned of consequences if the tree is cut to pave way for construction.
“They [Unra and the contractor] chose to take matters into their courts and they have won. I don’t want to comment on this matter because the spirits know what is happening,” Katamba told Daily Monitor.
“They might have refused to give me what I asked for but I know they will one day come before me begging to pay Shs1bn.”
Additional Reporting: Courtesy