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    MP Luttamaguzi Wants Probe To Establish Why Tycoon Sudhir Gets A Lot Of Money From Government And Whether There Is An Invisible Hand In His Businesses…

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    Tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia (L) and MP Luttamaguzi (R)

    Controversial Nakaseke South Member of Parliament (MP) Paul Luttamaguzi Ssemakula has revealed that his opposition counterpart from Kira Municipality Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda is on fire for exposing city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s multibillion deals.

    Luttamaguzi said that since Ssemujju told the public that every month, Sudhir, through his Meera Investments Limited and other companies are collecting over Shs2.9bn a month from government deals, he has been receiving attacks.

    Ssemujju further disclosed that the Justice and Constitutional affairs ministry is paying Shs450m, Ministry of Information Communication and Technology is paying Shs320m, Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development is paying Shs250m, the judiciary through the Anti-Corruption Court is paying Shs180m, Ministry for East Africa Affairs is paying Shs280m, Equal Opportunities Commission is paying Shs86m monthly to Sudhir.

    He added that the Ministry of foreign affairs paid Shs60m, parliament paid Shs860m, president’s office paid Shs66m, Uganda Revenue Authority paid Shs300m, Uganda Electoral Commission paid Shs300m monthly on Sudhir’s buildings around Kampala.

    Ssemujju wanted president Museveni to come out and tell the country what is so special about Sudhir because he is the very person taking government land without paying for it.

    He cited the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence land at Mulago which is under development.

    Luttamaguzi said that since Ssemujju made those statements against Sudhir, a number of legislators have been attacking him on their WhatsApp groups with others supporting him for being brave and speaking against a person feared by many.

    He added that he and others are sent to ask the speaker of parliament Annet Anita Among or her deputy Thomas Tayebwa to establish a select committee to investigate the relationship between Sudhir and president Museveni’s government.

    Luttamaguzi insists that many of the businessmen in Kampala and around the country are working for prominent people in government.

    He added that the looming investigations are not only going to stop on Sudhir but will involve auditing other businessmen on how they got their wealth.

    He explained that government principals have been stealing public properties like school land, playing grounds, and hospital lands, public markets without compensating government or people.

    Luttamaguzi pleaded with fellow legislators that instead of attacking Ssemujju, they should raise up and stop such impunity because they are voted to protect and be a voice for their voters.

    That is why they cannot look on as a section of people take public properties.

    Businessman Sudhir did not issue any statement over Ssemujju’s allegations.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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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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