[Anglican Communion News Service] State officials have been arrested and charged following the seizure and demolition of St. Peter’s Church in Ndeeba, part of the Diocese of Namirembe in Uganda. The primate of Uganda, Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba, has called for “a serious and impartial inquiry into this matter.” The dispute centers around claims and counter-claims about the ownership of the land on which the church sat.
Diocesan spokeswoman Flobia Sebunya told the Daily Monitor newspaper that the church originally started in the house of local resident Phoebe Kagumya, who donated a plot of land in 1979 so that a makeshift church could be constructed. The church continued to grow and in 1981 the church purchased a neighboring plot of land from Evelyn Nachwa, a member of the Buganda royal family.
“The young church approached her and she was gracious enough to sell us the land,” Flobia Sebunya said. “That was in 1981. A sales agreement was signed and a title for the land was arranged.”
Evelyn Nachwa died in 2001. Five years later, her children contacted the church, claiming that the land belonged to them.
In June last year, the Ugandan High Court ruled that the land did belong to the joint administrators of the estate of Evelyn Nachwa, according to a report in the Daily Monitor.
The report says that bailiffs evicted the church in March this year and seized the land. The church was demolished on Aug. 9 despite claims by the diocese that they were appealing the court judgment.