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Minister Amongi, MP Balyeku In Trouble Over Dubious Transactions: Both Legislators Cited In Shs2bn Forgery

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Lands senior Minister Betty Amongi and Jinja Municipality East Member of Parliament (MP) Moses Balyeku are in trouble after being accused of masterminding the dubious land transaction in Jinja where an investor was defrauded of over shs2bn.
Aisha Kabira Kalikumutima, the Jinja district land registrar testified before the commission of inquiry into land matters that sits in Kampala that Balyeku and minister Amongi forced her to issue a land title to Thummer Jay Mangalal Patel, an Indian investor fraudulently.
“My Lord, there was a lot of pressure on that file, people were always coming to my office asking me to immediately issue the land title. They threatened me that if I didn’t, it will look like I was fighting Honorable Balyeku who was pushing the transfer of the land in Patel’s favor and I did as he requested. I didn’t follow the necessary procedures to issue a land title because even the lands senior minister Amongi frequently phoned me asking me how far I had reached on issuing a land title,” Kabira said.
She told the commission that before issuing the land title, she come to Kampala and explained to his boss the commissioner land title registration Robert Opio about the situation she was going through.
She narrated that she decided to meet Opio because she was confused after receiving a warning from the Jinja District land board chairperson not to process the land title. Kabira said that Opio told her to leave the file with him, within a few minutes after giving the file to Opio, Amongi rang her and instructed her to take the file to her office. She told her that the file was with Opio.
She added that when she reached her office in Jinja, MP Balyeko was already waiting for her. He gave her a letter instructing her to quickly give the investor his free hold land title.
John Bosco Suuza, the deputy lead counsel of the commission told Kabira that she is responsible for the entire fraud because being the technical officer to the district land department in Jinja, she was supposed to advise the minister when she was pressurizing her to issue the land title to the investor.
Kabira wept and accepted her mistake saying that the process that was supposed to take between two to three months took only three weeks and the land title was issued to Patel.

MINISTER AMONGI, BALYEKU CITED IN FORGERY
Jofrey Wadhuuba the deputy town Clark Jinja Municipality told the commission that his signature was forged by the beneficiaries of this fraud who included minister Amongi and MP Balyeku.
“This is not my signature, in the last ten years, I have been signing with original blue ink not this,” Wadhuuba insisted.
He testified that as Jinja municipality, they have never okayed any transaction involving 13 acres of land on plot 4b Nalufenya Kyabazinga way to Patel because the Municipality already had an agreement with Harshad Barot the owner Tulipati Mazima mall in Jinja municipality.
He told the commission that in 2008, they entered a transaction where Barot was leased the land for 25 years with a condition to extend it to 99 years after the lease expired. Barot told the commission that he paid shs55m as a premium fee and he was supposed to pay ground rent of shs5m per year. He narrated that his plans were to develop the land and he spent Shs1.5bn before Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) stopped him from developing the land because part of it was going to be affected during the construction of the new Nile Bridge.
He added that when he was told that the land was given to Patel, he was forced to petition the commission. Justice Catherine Bamugemereire the chairperson of the commission noted that there was a lot of fraud in this transaction. She wondered a one Yahaya Kisakye obtained a free hold land title in 2017 without the consent of Jinja Municipality council the owners of the land.
She said that the commission is investigating MP Balyeku after getting information that he has been moving with army men threatening people over land and it might be the reason why Kabira was forced to issue a land title to Patel in his favor.
Commissioner George Bagonza revealed that it’s unbelievable that even Patel was defrauded Shs2bn even before he accessed the land on forged documents.
The commission is still investigating the matter.

By Jamil Lutakome

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NRM CEC VETTING:  Babu Finally Pulls Out Of Race For Kigongo…

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Like we told you yesterday, former Kampala Central legislator Capt. Francis Babu has pulled out the race for National Resistance Movement (NRM) 1st Vice Chairperson leaving incumbent Hajji Moses Kigongo unopposed.

According to the party chairman President Museveni, Babu pulled out of the race in good faith for the interest of the party.

“Over the last few days, I have chaired the vetting meetings by the Central Executive Committee (CEC) to draft a shortlist that will be forwarded to the National Executive Committee for voting,” Museveni said.

He added, “As we conclude the process, Captain Francis Babu, one of our own long-standing cadres and a worthy contender, having expressed interest in the position of 1st Vice Chairperson and being seconded by CEC, has pulled out of the race in good faith, for the benefit of the party.”

“While I commend Capt. Babu’s exhibition of comradeship and solidarity, I congratulate all the participants in ongoing party activities. It is my pleasure to witness the hive of activity and the number of people involved in building cohesion and continuity. Long Live the National Resistance Movement,” he said.

 

By Grapevine Reporters




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Demolishing A Church Is A Curse – Museveni Vows To Help Ndeeba Church Retain Their Land….

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On his way to work today, His Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the president of Uganda for the very first time visited the site of the recently demolished St Peter’s Church in Ndeeba.
The President expressed his sorrow triggered by the ugly incident, and gave the church assurances that whoever is responsible will pay a hefty price.
Museveni stressed that the resolution to order the demolition of a church was extreme, he suggested that dialogue amongst the stakeholders would have been most appropriate to resolve the matter, however much the church could have been caught on the wrong side of the law.
“Judges should have limits and understand public interest. Demolishing a church is a curse,” the president said, warning the general public against believing any false reports that the government is responsible for demolishing the said church.
Museveni revealed that he will very soon invite the Namirembe Diocese Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira, and engage with all parties involved in this conflict to find a lasting solution.
He gave assurance that the Church will retain the disputed land at all costs, and an even better church shall be erected in the same place, publicly declaring that he has now personally involved himself in the bitter land wrangle.

 

By Baron Kironde




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Our Mass Defection Was A Collective Decision – MP Nambooze…

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Democratic Party (DP) president, Norbert Mao has assured party members that they are still standing strong even after many of their senior members defected to Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine’s National Unity Party (NUP).

The studious politician likened DP’s current situation to a farmer who loses his crops, but remains with the seeds, hinting on replanting.

While appearing on the Frontline, a political talk show on NBS, Mao said the DP will utilise this uncertainty that has befallen their party to not only heal, but also renew and rebuild their DP house.

“DP will have to look inside itself and look for the reason as to why it has been resilient for 65 years. It is time for strategic reorientation, to look at our strengths rather than our weaknesses,” Mao said, emphasizing that they (DP) are so capable of rebuilding the party.

Mao stressed that trying times like now call for calmness, and that DP will now focus on its strengths and what has remained rather than lament on its weaknesses.

The lawyer also admitted that the MPs who defected might leave political wounds to the party, but added that they will heal and so will DP.

“They might leave scars, but they eventually heal. And gaps can always be filled. Every organization must have an inbuilt capacity to heal and renew itself.

Some people have lost both hands, but life doesn’t end there. Infact, you can find your purpose from there,” Mao said.

Betty Nambooze, one of the former key members who defected to NUP insinuated that they conveniently made the healthiest decision for them and their former party where they have been the trouble causers, adding that the transfer will now also give them an opportunity to go where they shall be utilized, because they are appreciated.

The Mukono Municipality lawmaker also revealed that their resolution to massively withdraw from DP to NUP was more collective than personal.

The outspoken journalist cum politician revealed that she could not follow her close colleague Erias Lukwago the Kampala Lord Mayor to Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) because she has never fancied being a member of the Najjanankumbi based party.

She however said that she will support Lukwago for the Kampala mayoral seat, and not NUP’s Joseph Mayanja aka Chameleon.

 

By Baron Kironde




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