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KIWANUKA FAMILY WOES: Mukwano Group Moves To Buy Mohan Kiwanuka’s Grave Yard, His Oscar Industries Struggling As Over 400 Workers Are Set To Lose Jobs, Some Family Members Cut Off From Speaking To The Old Man

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All isn’t well in tycoon Mohan Kiwanuka’s family as some of his close relatives move to oppose the efforts by the Mukwano Group to buy Kiwatule land that works as the burial grounds for the entire family. Even though he hails from Kayunga District in Bugerere, Mohan Kiwanuka sometime back bought 80 acres of land from his neighours and turned it into a burial ground for members of his extended family.

The land has a few squatters who are loyal and obedient to Mohan Kiwanuka. The Kiwanuka family has a care taker who keeps the land to ensure it’s not encroached upon by illegal squatters. This caretaker has stayed there for a long time and has been allowed to so far bury three of his own relatives there. On the other side of the land are three graves of Kiwanuka’s family members including his own mother who died aged 92 in 2017 and was buried there. Even Kiwanuka himself will be buried there the day he dies. 

Kiwanuka with one of his family lawyer Buwule

But some family members are uncomfortable that power brokers and real estate brokers who have been participating in the selling off of his properties have recently approached Mukwano Group calling on them to purchase the Kiwatule land so that Mohan can bank the cash on his foreign bank accounts in Dubai and Doha/Qatar where some influential advisors are pressurizing him to relocate all his businesses and leave Uganda because it’s economy isn’t doing well.  

Besides arguing that it’s not right to sell burial grounds, some family members and concerned Mohan Kiwanuka friends have been pleading with Mukwano Group managers not to dare buy the Kiwatule land because the price at which it’s being offered to them is too low. 

There are also concerns that even other Kiwanuka properties haven’t been sold at good price. For example, his plot in the center of Wandegeya near the banks was sold recently at just USD250,000 yet Dr. Sudhir had years earlier wanted to buy it at USD2M. Kiwanuka had bought that Wandegeya land to put up a modern cinema complex targeting Makerere students as the potential market. 

Part of Kiwanuka’s land for sell

Then in Kololo along Elizabeth Avenue, another Mohan Kiwanuka piece of land on the hill was sold to Sophie Nantongo of African Queen cosmetics at just USD1m yet a wealthy Indian tycoon had years earlier offered USD4m for the same plot because it’s on a good location on the hill. There are concerns among family members that Mohan Kiwanuka is in a frail state being an old man and therefore needs strong advisors around him. 

Already his 40 white expatriate tenants at his large estate on Kololo hill near his friend BoU Governor Mutebile’s home are complaining that their land lord isn’t treating them well because everyday he keeps forgetting and coming to them to ask for rent yet they paid for 5 years when they were entering the apartments. Each of the 40 apartments is charged USD700 per month and the tenants say once he renovates them, they are ready to pay USD1500 per month.

Oscar industries premises

There are also concerns that the Oscar Industries based in Nakawa is being inspected by real estate agents who keep telling Indian tycoons in town that it will soon be put on the market because Mohan Kiwanuka badly needs the money. It is located on Plot 218 Factory Close in Nakawa Industrial Area. In fact, as we talk, the more than 650 youths who used to work there as factory workers are jobless after management fired them. This has left many of the users of Oscar Industries products stranded because there is no more production of the books and other office stationery. In fact, when our reporter visited the Nakawa factory, we found it was locked with only four security guards on site. They were guarding the gate and didn’t allow us in. We had wanted to interview tycoon Mohan Kiwanuka but the security guards said he hadn’t been coming for more than a week. We also tried to the factory phone lines 0414505646 (it did not exist on the network) and 0414220084 (not in service), we even went online to check the number 031 2260640, which they put as the company’s contact, when we called on it, it was not available. We were later told by the security guards that the lines had been disconnected since there is no more operations at the factory.

We also got at the gate some guys who said they had come to place their orders for the books but they too were chased by the security guards. One Indian tycoon said he had been approached by land brokers to prepare to put in his bid for the Kiwatule burial ground but pulled out after being told there was too much wrangling regarding the Mohan estate and risked losing his money in case one of the children or family members who have shares in the companies go to court in future to challenge the transaction. 

By closing the Nakawa factory, Mohan is losing a lot of money yet he also has two debts with Commercial Bank of Africa and DFCU bank where his youngest daughter works. There are also concerns as to why Mohan recently declined a USD4m deal Total Uganda was offering to complete his 100 apartment houses on Ridge Way Kololo hill. He had put up these ones for CHOGM conference in 2007 but pulled out after government officials asked for Shs8bn out of the Shs10bn he was to be paid to house CHOGM guests. By that time, Mohan had already invested USD5m but abandoned the houses uncompleted. 

The letter that Kiwanuka wrote to the Germany embassy asking for visas for his wife and children to attend his daughter Jordana Pearl Kiwanuka’s wedding

That’s why Total Uganda recently came to him saying they are ready to invest USD4m to complete the houses but the tycoon from Kayunga Bugerere refused saying these are thieves wanting to steal his Ridge Way estate. All these business mistakes have caused many family members to be annoyed and begin saying whoever takes advantage of the man’s old age to buy his family property cheaply will pay back/vomit it in future. 

Kiwanuka’s marriage certificate

Some family members want President Museveni or the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II to intervene to save Kiwanuka’s riches from being grabbed by smart city Indian tycoons taking advantage of his old age and the wars raging in his family. Some family members, including senior wife Beatrice Luyiga Kavuma whom he recommended for a visa in 2017 introducing her as his sweetest wife to the German embassy, are fearful that Mohan Kiwanuka is too withdrawn these days and not easy to access. Some family members say they last accessed him in May and others like his children say they have taken two years without accessing him.

Some family members told the Grapevine that each time they ring, Mohan Kiwanuka’s phone is picked by a tough-talking lady who just abuses them advising them never to call him again. The woman can quarrel while asking ” why don’t you allow the old man to rest?” That even at his office before the Nakawa Oscar factory was closed, Kiwanuka wasn’t free to meet his children, other relatives and wife because he must first get permission from the woman who keeps answering his phone calls on his behalf.

The Grapevine tried to talk to some of Kiwanuka’s family members and wife Kiwanuka but they were not accessible.

By Grapevine Reporter

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Balaam Asks For Shs.1billion From Kabushenga Led Kampala Sun For Portraying Him As A Fraudster And Extortionist…

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It seems the troubles of Robert Kabushenga led Vision Group are not about to end.

This is after events promoter and National Resistance Movement (NRM) party diehard Balaam Barugahara threatened to sue them if he is not compensated with Shs.1bn.

Through his lawyers of Isabirye and Company Advocates, Balaam claims that, Vision Group, through its weekly newspaper the Kampala Sun defamed him when they alleged that he was muscling Uganda Cranes players for a share of money allegedly paid to them by President Museveni.

“Needless to say, that the publication was false, baseless and not with any truth but has none the less damaged the reputation of our client in a manner that is irreparable, as when construed and contextualized in its natural, and ordinary meaning, or by innuendo, said article is understood to mean and to suggest that Mr. Balaam Barugahara, our client, is a criminal, an immoral and indefensible man,” Balaam’s lawyers stated in their letters.

They insist that the Kampala Sun article under the headline ‘Balaam harasses Uganda Cranes over Sevo Cash’ negatively impacted on the integrity of their client, demeaned his reputation in his capacity as a businessman and a family man in the eyes of reasonable Ugandans, East Africans, Africans and the world at large to the extent of him being viewed as a fraudster and extortionist.

“In addition to causing him to limit his interaction with his peers, contemporaries, business partners and colleagues in order for him to avoid the contempt and ridicule that he suffers when amongst them, this emotional suffering has caused him to suffer stress and affected his moods and behavior in a depressing manner,” the lawyers added.

They claim that because of such suffering, their client demands a public apology for the claimed false story and compensation of Shs.1bn.

They gave vision group only three days from yesterday to do so.

Last week, Uganda Communications Commissions (UCC) suspended Urban TV’s Scoop on Scoop gossip show after socialite Sheilah Gashumba petitioned the commission over defamatory statements from the show host Tina Fierce against her. Urban TV is another Vision Group product. Sheilah also asked for Shs.400 million compensation.

 

By Jamil Lutakome




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COCA COLA IN TROUBLE: Distributors Bitter At Beverage Company For Supplying Smelly Green Water, Woman Who Got Stomach Complications After Drinking Rwenzori Takes Them On…

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Melkamu Abebe General Manager, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda. Inset are pictures of the bottles and cans containing green smelly water.

A group of Rwenzori mineral water distributors are bitter with Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), the bottlers of Rwenzori mineral water for distributing Green smelly water.

The group told this website that the company distributed batches of 1.5litre mineral water bottles with green water which they deemed dangerous for their clients.

The group further told theGrapevine that batches BB 14NOV 2020 and BAT 135E,0650 (1.5liter bottles) contained smelly water while batch BB 02OCT20, BAT 093 A, 1850 of water in Jumbo cans, the ones that are mounted on water dispensers contained Green water.

The affected areas included Kasangati, Bulenga some areas in the central business district and some upcountry areas.

Some of the bottles of 1.5litres that contained bad water

Multiple sources told the Grapevine that such recklessness is sometimes as a result of not following the proper cleaning procedures when bottling the water.

Recently, a one Rosemary Adong from Kakira took on Rwenzori after she got stomach complications from taking Rwenzori mineral water.

Adong raised dust at the Namanve based plant until the manager bowed in to the pressure. Adong is currently being facilitated by Coca Cola and receiving treatment from Dr. Galukanda in Kampala.

Coca Cola is currently paying her hospital bills and facilitating her with 30,000 as transport refund every time she goes to see Dr. Galukanda.

Some of the jumbo cans on the market that contain green water

Recently, another doctor in Jinja threatened to sue CCBA for distributing water to him that had dangerous particles, he asked for Shs.15 million in damages but the company sat him down and agreed to sort the matter amicably.

When the Grapevine to Simon Kaheru the Public Affairs & Communications Director Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda (Century & Rwenzori Bottling Company), he said, “We have a very straightforward and transparent customer or consumer complaints system. Most of the outlets you mention are our regular customers who would raise such an issue directly on the spot.”

 

By Grapevine reporters




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URA Speaks Out On The Fate Of The New 150 Recruits Who Are Struggling Financially After Resigning From Their Jobs During Covid19 Crisis….

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Uganda Revenue Authority finally speaks out on the fate of the 150 new recruits who were given appointment letters to join the national tax collecting body.

Vincent Seruma the Authority’s Director for corporate affairs and communication said that they know them but the situation right now cannot allow them to accommodate the new recruits.

He explained that due to COVID19 crisis, the Authority was forced to even send half of its staff to work from home.

He noted that they did that to respect the social distancing directive in the fight against COVID19 pandemics.

The soft spoken Seruma disclosed that they explained to the new recruits but it seems they didn’t understand that is why they are running allover claiming that they were dumped.

On the issue of paying them, Seruma said that they will start receiving their salaries and other allowances when they report to their working station.

Over the weekend, over 20 new URA recruits approached this website complaining that they were dumped by their new bosses because of COVID19 crisis.

They said that on 11th March 2020, over 150 of them received appointment letters confirming them as URA staff after going through a series of interviews.

They claimed that all the new recruits, were supposed to work in the domestic and customs department and were supposed to report to their new stations on 23rd march 2020.

They claimed that when the president declared a nationwide lockdown over COVID19 pandemic, their reporting date was extended.

They explained that they went through a lot of financial hardship since many of them had resigned from their previous jobs in the middle of the month of March.

They claimed that since March, they haven’t received any salary from URA and they are now suffering at home. President Museveni declared a cleanup exercise in URA where a number of staff were fired including their boss Doris Akol who was replaced with John Rujoki Musinguzi.

 

By Sengooba Alirabaki




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