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    KCCA, UNRA Floored By City Businesswoman In Kampala Flyover Multibillion Deal …

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    Sarh Kizito, KCCA ED Kisaka (top R) and UNRA boss Allen Kagina (bottom R)

    City businesswoman Sarah Kizito has floored Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) in a multibillion deal concerning the Kampala flyover.

    Justice Alexandra Nkonge Rugadya of the Land Division of the High Court Kampala has directed both KCCA and UNRA to pay Sarah Kizito, the director Nalongo Estate Uganda Limited Shs100m as punitive damages for violating court orders issued in connection to the Centenary Park land dispute.

    Through her lawyers of Muwema and Company Advocates, Kizito, the former wife to veteran boxer Godfrey Nyakana Amooti petitioned the Land Division of the High Court accusing UNRA and KCCA of violating court orders issued on land comprised on; LRV 4211 Folio 15 plot 5 park lane and LRV 4211 Folio 14 plot 96A-100A Kitante road LRV 2825 Folio 1 plot 34E-38E Jinja road.

    In her affidavit, Kizito accused KCCA of intentionally declining to extend her lease as ordered by court in 2021.

    She further accused UNRA of refusing to conduct a joint land survey on the land to determine the piece of land which was going to be affected by the Kampala flyover project.

    She claimed that UNRA refused to conduct a proper valuation assessment to enable compensation for her land and developments on it.

    She pleaded with court to declare that the valuation assessment report issued on 9th December 2022 by UNRA’s project consultants, M/S Nippon Koei violated a court order and should be set aside.

    She explained to court that KCCA based on an old survey report which was done in 2017 that indicated that the project was going to take 5.85 acres of her land out of his 7 acres and she was told that she was going to be compensated with Shs3.7bn which they threatened to forcefully deposit on her bank accounts.

    However, in their defence, Nathan Asanasio Kasule, an officer at KCCA land management unit confirmed that KCCA owns the contested land.

    He added that in 2006, KCCA granted rights to the plaintiff (Kizito) to develop, manage, control and maintain the recreation park for a term of ten years and also sub lease the said land from April 2011.

    These rights could be extended for a maximum of 49 years with the user using it as a private recreational facility, not a public open space.

    He noted that in 2008, KCCA and Kizito signed a Memorandum of Understanding dated 04th December 2008 reducing Kizito’s acreage on the land under her management from 5.32 hectares to 3.130 hectares and alteration of numbering of the plots was done to read 34E-38E Jinja road.

    She was supposed to submit new plans for any structures on the new plots for approval by the defunct Kampala City Council before she made any developments which she failed to do.

    In 2012, the Extra Ordinary Contracts Committee recommended termination of Kizito’s leases but she refused to vacate the land.

    He noted that the land in question was to be used for government projects like infrastructure and utility projects like the Kampala flyover, the Lake Victoria Protection II and an Electricity Substation by UMEME.

    He said that Kizito frustrated KCCA’s move to evict her yet her leases had expired by petitioning a number of offices including State House.

    He was supported by Juliet Oyellah Okwir the head of Land Acquisition Department who disclosed that they failed to place the value of money to be compensated because Kizito’s lease had expired.

    She explained that because it is the practice to compensate anyone is going to be affected by government projects, they decided to consider the valuation assessment before the lease expired.

    She informed court that in December 2022, they informed Kizito in writing the sum of the money approved by the government chief valuer to be compensated to her and she was asked to forward the required documents to process her Shs3.7bn but she declined to do so.

    In her ruling, justice Rugadya stated that the valuation assessment report only based on the development on the land not considering the net worth of the land and without considering that Kizito’s lease was still running.

    Justice Rugadya further declared the valuation assessment report made by consultants hired by UNRA as illegal.

    She noted that the court order was very clear that the government chief valuer had to do the valuation and assessment in presence of all parties.

    She declared that KCCA and UNRA disrespected orders of court over the matter well knowing that there are proper ways to challenge court orders if one thinks that they were issued illegally.

    In conclusion, the judge ordered KCCA to renew Kizito’s leases and give her a land title on the piece of land which will remain after removing what was going to be affected by the flyover project.

    All parties were directed to carry out a joint survey and proper valuation on Kizito’s land and developments in accordance with the first orders issued by court in 2021.

    She added that the surveyor will be appointed by court even though parties have the right to hire their own surveyors to oversee the exercise at their own costs.

    She ordered that this should be done within 30 days after the 14th of August 2023 when the ruling was delivered.

     

    By Grapevine Reporter

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    CRIME

    Equity Bank Shs6.5bn Fraud Case Deepens As More Suspects Are Charged, Remanded To Prison…

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    Equity Bank fraud suspects Mukwaya, Mugumya and Kato appearing in court

    Three more suspects from Equity bank multimillion fraud case have been arraigned before the Magistrates Court of the Anti-corruption Division on charges of Conspiracy to defraud and remanded to Luzira prison.

    The accused persons are; Godfrey Mukwaya and Robert Mugumya, all former employees of Airtel Uganda and Fred Kato a former head of Small and Medium Enterprises at Equity Bank.

    Prosecution alleges that Mukwaya, a former sales manager at Airtel Uganda used different people to open up bank accounts through which the bank was defrauded of more than Shs10bn.

    State further alleges that Mugumya is linked to 179 fictitious companies that were created to defraud Equity bank and he used different persons to obtain more than Shs35 billion.

    The presiding Magistrate Abert Asiimwe did not allow the accused persons to plead to the charges reasoning that they are joined on the case file involving money laundering which is triable by the High Court.

    “While this court has powers to handle the case of conspiracy, this one is emanating from money laundering. I advise that you will plead to the charges in the High Court which has powers to entertain all the cases,” Asiimwe said.

    The three suspects charged brings the charged number to eight.

    On March 20, 2024, five people among them employees of Equity Bank were charged over accusations of money laundering in regard to disbursement of Shs62bn of unsecured loans to unqualified persons.

    The first suspects were arraigned before the Anti-corruption Magistrates Court on charges of obtaining credit by false pretense, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.

    The remanded suspects are; the head of Agency Banking at Equity Bank Julius Musiime, Erina Nabisubi a relationship manager for telecom, Fred Semwogerere (Banker), Tumuhimbise Crescent Tibarwesereka (relationship officer) and Wycliff Asiimwe a distribution and marketing consultant with a microfinance facility.

    State alleges that between the 2021 and 2024 at Equity Bank in Kampala City, Nabisubi being a person employed as a relationship manager in charge of Telecom incurred a debt of Shs6.55bn from Equity bank falsely representing that the loans were being applied for by Najjemba Gladys who she fronted as having fulfilled the bank requirements to access the loans whereas not.

    State added that Nabisubi also incurred a debt of Shs300m from Equity Bank falsely representing that the loans were being applied for by Nagawa Latiffa who she fronted as having fulfilled the bank requirements to access the loans whereas not.

    It is alleged that between 2021 and 2024 at Equity Bank headquarters situated at Church House in Kampala, Nabisubi intentionally impeded the establishment of the true ownership of Shs6.5bn which she fraudulently obtained from Equity Bank as loan through account number 1032100370335 in the name of Najjemba Gladys purporting that the said funds were applied for by Najjemba Gladys as a loan whereas not knowing that the said funds were a proceed of crime.

    State further alleges that Musiime intentionally concealed the true ownership of Shs18 million which he received as gratification from Mutuuza Stella for having fraudulently processed a loan of Shs700m from Equity Bank by requiring her to deposit the said gratification on account number 1013101211316 in the name of Gilbert Rwaiheru Kiiza knowing that the said deposits were a proceed of crime.

    According to the charge sheet, in the year 2021 and 2024 at different places in Kampala and Wakiso districts; Musiime, Nabisubi, Ssemwogerere, Tumuhimbise , Asiimwe, Kato, Mugumya and Mukwaya conspired together to defraud Equity Bank of Shs62bn by fraudulently causing the disbursement of unsecured loans to unqualified people.

     

    By Grapevine Reporter

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    MY MONEY

    Businessman Kabanda, KACITA Leadership In Trouble As Traders Accuse Them Of Using Their Problems To Seal Juicy Deals With City Landlords And M7…

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    KACITA's Thadeus Nagenda (L) and John Kabanda the Kampala New Generation Traders Association boss

    Thadeus Musoke Nagenda the chairperson of Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) has declared that his association will not join the newly formed federation citing fraud and extortion.

    Musoke made the statements few weeks after controversial businessman John Kabanda of the Kampala New Generation Traders Association led a team of city traders to form a Federation named the Federation of Uganda Trade Association (FUTA ) and he was appointed the chairperson deputized by his friend Godfrey Katongole while Moses Lwegaba was appointed as publicity secretary.

    Former State minister for Trade Harriet Ntabazi was appointed as the patron of their federation which is set to open countrywide offices to assist traders to solve their problems.

    During the course of investigating this story, theGrapevine established that in Kampala city, there are more than seven traders associations and these are: Katukazane Shoe Dealers which brings together all traders dealing in shoes, Kampala Arcaders Advocacy Forum (KAFO), United Arcaders Traders Entrepreneurs Association (UATEA), Kampala New Generation Traders Association, Kampala Traders Association KATA), KACITA, Uganda Needy and Squatters Association, Kikuubo Business Community.

    According to Kabanda, all the said associations are supposed to be under his federation.

    However, Musoke’s KACITA, KAFO, UETEA declined to join the association because they did not participate in its formation.

    Musoke said that he cannot lead KACITA to join the new federation well knowing that its leader Kabanda is not a trader in Kampala city.

    He challenged him to prove by showing where his shop is located.

    He further explained that Kabanda is a known event and music promoter and he cannot be entrusted with traders’ issues to be handled with his team. Traders reveals to Grapevine that fellow members formed associations and federations to use it to seal deals with tycoons who are landlords owning city arcades and buildings where they operate from.

    “Their role is to incite us to demonstrate against the poor conditions we are operating from including paying high rent, paying money for using toilets, high taxes and when we placed the landlords on the wall by closing our shops, they invite our leaders in a closed door meetings, bribed them and came back when their tongues are changed speaking in different page with us, pleading with us to open our shops as negotiations proceeds and when you open nothing yielded,” a trader said.

    However Musoke explained that KACITA is currently the association that brings all traders in the country and they have over 20 associations which work under them while they are still in talks with others.

    Other traders accuse Kabanda of forming the federation to use it as a weapon in his ongoing drive to mobilize money for his coming introduction and wedding to his lovely wife.

    theGrapevine was told that traders were surprised when Kabanda decided to give his wedding budget to city landlords and one of them even offered to support him financially. Kabanda is of the view that once he gets married, his lifestyle will change and he will start handling issues respectively.

    Others claim that Kabanda has political ambitions to stand for a political office in Kampala city come 2026 and he wants to use his federation and the association to gather political support.

    theGrapevine also established that there is ongoing lobbying by city traders seeking to meet President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to discuss the problems the traders face during their operations and both Kabanda and KACITA are fighting to lead the traders to meet the President with each association fighting to be recognised as the umbrella of all traders.

    When contacted, Kabanda denied all the accusations explaining that city traders are tired of KACITA because their leadership is in bed with landlords who are mistreating them. He gave the example of Isa Ssekitto the KACITA spokesperson who is also the spokesperson of Bagagga Kwagalana association which brings together all tycoons in Kampala city.

    On the issue of not having a shop in the city, Kabanda rubbished the allegation and revealed that he owns a shop in BBC building a long Nabugabo which deals in open shoes nicknamed ‘Nigina’.

    Kabanda’s statements were supported by sources in Uganda Revenue Authority(URA) who told theGrapevine that KACITA leadership act like dealers who agree with URA over a matter on behalf of the traders but after, they turn against them and disassociate themselves from the matter agreed upon and incite traders to turn against URA.

    Edward Ntale the chairperson of UATEA revealed how traders’ association leaders enrich themselves through their associations.

    He gave the example of the money collected from traders as transport to be used when going for meetings with government officials on issues concerning their problems.

    Sulaiman Matovu, a trader dealing in shirts said that the problem they are facing is that all their association leaders want to take themselves as leaders of other associations and no one wants to listen to another which is hindering the way to solve their problems.

    The internal fighting among traders comes days after Kabanda through his federation declared a sit down strike which was expected to start on Monday next week.

    Kabanda asked all traders to close their shops to send a message to Museveni’s government that they have also joined the struggle to liberate this country after being worn out by the high taxes placed on their exports.

    He pleaded with fellow traders to avoid people telling them that they should not participate in the strike because of the coming Idi day festival because they will lose business when they close their shops.

    Kabanda advised them to buy all the goods which they will use on Idi day, insisting that they are in the struggle and they need to sacrifice to achieve what they want.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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    CELEBRITY GOSSIP

    Top Lawyers, Court Bailiffs Cite Witchcraft After Buyers Shun Tycoon Hamid’s Pearl Of Africa Hotel…

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    Businessman Abdullatif Hamid

    For the second time now, city lawyers of MMAKS Advocates and ENS Africa Advocates instructed Armstrong Court Bailiffs and Auctioneers to do fresh advertisement inviting suitable buyers to participate in the auctioning of Aya hotel.

    “We shall proceed to sell the property below together with developments thereon by public auction pursuant to a warrant of Attachment and sale issued by the High Court of Uganda (Commercial Division) unless the judgment debtor pays to us the entire outstanding decretal sum (including interest) and our fees and costs before the fall of the hammer at the auction,” the advertisement in today’s daily read in part.

    The advert further explains that the property under attachment comprises a 5 Star Hotel situated at an altitude of 1240 meters above sea level making it one of the highest points with a 360 degrees view of Kampala city.

    The advert added that the hotel spans 32,000 square meters and comprises 23 floors, 296 rooms, 37 suites, 2 restaurants, 3 bars, 9 meeting rooms, 15th floor executive lounges and a business centre with all top class amenities. The said property is owned by Sudanese national Abdullatif Hamid, the Executive chairperson of Aya Investments Limited.

    The property under attachment is in LRV 3556 Folio 9 plots 7A1-9A1 & 10 Lugogo Road and plots M32, M183 & 2E Nakasero Hill Road Kampala measuring approximately 5.975 hectares.

    According to the advertisement, the second auctioning is expected to take place on 3rd May 2024 at the bailiff’s offices.

    When contacted, one of the lawyers at MMAKS Advocates reveals to theGrapevine that buyers have been inspecting the hotel but have not shown interest in buying it and it’s the reason they have instructed bailiffs to advertise the property for the second time.

    “That man must be a witch, I’m telling you, people have been coming but they are not committed to participating in the buying process,” a lawyer said.

    According to court documents, between 2007 and 2017, AYA secured Shs305bn from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), a South African lending company to construct Pearl of Africa Hotel in Kampala and was supposed to pay back the loan within ten years which he defaulted on.

    Hamid was dragged to the South African Tribunal and he did not defend himself which resulted in the judge Bruce Collins QC to issue a court order directing him to pay  Shs572bn which he challenged in Uganda Courts but he also lost the legal fight.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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