Spennah Beach: Inside Asimwe, Mayor Kabuye woes

Whereas normal operations have resumed and revelers continue to flock the Entebbe lakeside popular hangout place-Spennah beach, the environment was not the same on Friday, October 06, when tens of weight-lifters (body guards) had been deployed to evict all installations at the beach.

Foreseeing what was likely to come out of the fracas, the Entebbe Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Ms. Jacqueline Kankunda, halted the intended eviction and engaged all the contesting parties in a closed-door meeting.

The contesting parties include former Entebbe municipality mayor Mr. Stephen Kabuye who is said to have rented out the premises to Mr. John Asimwe of Spennah beach before the former, sold the same to Mr. Jaffer Azhar Ali, the manager of Fairway hotel.

The misunderstanding between former mayor Mr. Kabuye and Mr. Asimwe is said to have begun when at first, several other bodies including Entebbe municipal council and the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) claimed ownership of the shoreline where the beach was situated.

It was from such a basis, among others that Mr. Asimwe dragged Mr. Kabuye to court demanding a refund of some monies paid to the latter, as landlord.

According to Mr. Asimwe, the confusion and uncertainty about the rightful owner, jeopardized lots of his intended developments and programs, rendering losses for his business.

However, the Entebbe municipal town clerk Mr. Charles Magumba later retracted, saying the land did not belong to the municipal council.

The current state of Spenah beach

Meanwhile, Mr. Asiimwe retains the operational licenses from Entebbe municipal council indicating that Spennah beach was granted a five-year operational permit which is meant to expire in April 2026. The beach’s structural plans were also approved by the municipal authorities in May 2021.

Another certificate from NEMA was also issued for Spennah beach on June 17, 2021. It remains unclear whether the same has ever been revoked.

On the other hand, Mr. Kabuye contends that Spennah entertainment Ltd. had defaulted on payments as stated in their initial agreement. “He was even granted a rent waiver for some months, but still refused to adhere,” remarked a source in mayor Kabuye’s camp.

Following a protracted court battle between the two parties, the chief magistrate HW Elizabeth Akullo Ogwal referred the involved parties for an arbitration.

Prior to the arbitration, Mr. Erasmus Twaruhukwa, purportedly acting on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, ordered for vacant possession of the land in question. “There is no doubt that the land in question belongs to Jaffer Azhar Ali as the registered proprietor,” reads in part, a letter from Mr. Twaruhukwa.

Entebbe RDC Ms. Kankunda said, there was no need for Mr. Jaffer to deploy weight-lifters (private bodyguards) to effect the intended eviction, as there is enough security in the area to smoothly facilitate the process.

It however, remains unclear whether the Spennah beach proprietors will have vacated the premises by Thursday, as sources indicate that Mr. Asiimwe has sought for more remedies from court, NEMA and the lands office.

Among other questions that Mr. Asimwe is seeking answers to, is how the former mayor converted a customary tenure to a freehold land tenure, and how Mr. Jafar who was born in Canada, came to possess Uganda’s national ID; hence, holding a freehold certificate of title on a land bearing no block number.

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