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    NTAGANDA STRIKES AGAIN: Tycoon Dragged To Court For Grabbing Bat Valley Land…

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    Bat Valley restaurant director Damani Lyoti at the High Court Civil Division and tycoon Ephraim Ntaganda (R)

    Controversial City Tycoon Ephraim Ntaganda has been dragged to the High Court Civil Division over grabbing Bat Valley land.

    In a suit before Justice Simon Zirintuusa, Damani Lyoti and Herm Damani, who are directors and shareholders of Bat Valley Bar and Restaurant, they accused Ntaganda and a one Ivan Byaruhanga of trespassing on their land registered on Plot 2, Semuliki Walk, LRV 4464, Folio 23.

    The plaintiffs told Court that they were registered on the said land in 1994 on a lease which was extended to 2025 by the Directorate of Physical Planning with recommendation from the secretary Kampala District Land Board.

    To their surprise, on 29th May 2021, they received a phone call from their staff that there was a stranger who stormed their land at night, overpowered the security guards and put a container in an attempt to fence it off using iron sheets.

    “The respondents forcefully destroyed properties and even deployed private security guards from KPI security. They also erected signs purporting re-entry by the Kampala District Land Board. This was immediately reported to Wandegeya police station, with file reference 17/28/08/21 for Criminal trespass,” the plaintiff reads in parts.

    They further stated that Ntaganda confronted them and threatened them that they will have it rough if they didn’t leave his land which he owned together with Byaruhanga.

    Bat Valley Restaurant staff after being evicted from their restaurant

    When they asked him for documents, he only showed them the container which he forcefully placed on their land.

    “We subsequently found out that another Title had been issued on 27th of August 2021 to a one Ivan Byaruhanga in consideration of Shs. 142,720,000. This is for one Acre of Land in the middle of Kampala City. We have been given no notice or warning to defend our position in the face of re-entry,” plaintiffs stated.

    They told Court that the respondents fraudulently transferred the land title to Buko Minerals and Oil Limited in the names of Augustine Rutaganda, Allan Muzima, Barbara Nalubega who were listed as the shareholders of the said company on 2nd September 2021.

    They told the Court that because they wanted to save their land, they placed a caveat on it.

    In a defense he filed at the same court, Ntaganda said that he acquired the lease on the land on 27th August 2021 from Kampala District Land Board who are in charge of all public land under Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).

    Last week, Justice Ziruntuusa issued an interim order staying the status quo until the matter is disposed of.

    The judge set 14th of September 2021 to kick off the hearing of the matter.

    The name Ntaganda is synonymous with land grabbing in Kampala.

    In 2018, Ntaganda was detained on orders of the Land Probe Commission Chairperson Justice Catherine Bamugemereire to explain how he convinced the Commissioner Land Registrar to acquire what she said were illegal titles in wetlands and forest reserve land owned by government.

    Ntaganda had appeared before the Commission on allegations that it was him who sold the 350 acres of Kajjansi Forest Reserve to a one Eria Mubiru at $2.5 million (Sh9bn).

    Ntaganda was also sighted in the grabbing of East Kololo Primary School land along Naguru by-pass together with tycoon Muhamood Bharwani of Bharwani group of companies and Francis Kakumba of prestigious apartments limited.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    CRIME

    Former Minister Mbayo Survives Arrest, Sneaks Into CID, Grilled Over Nepotism And Corruption…

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    Minister Esther Mbayo

    Former Minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo has survived arrest after secretly presenting herself to Kibuli based police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to answer charges related to corruption and nepotism.

    Last month, police threatened to arrest the Luuka district woman Member of Parliament for refusing to respect the criminal summons issued against her through the office of the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah.

    Mbayo pleaded with the speaker for assistance claiming that the police detectives are being used by her political opponents to humiliate her and brand her a criminal.

    However, the speaker advised her to go to CID and record a statement since police have followed the necessary requirements to summon her as an MP.

    On Monday last week, Mbayo sneaked into CID together with her lawyers and she was grilled by detectives led by Julius Twinomujuni.

    Sources at the CID disclosed that Mbayo was grilled on allegations of influencing the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation(UPPC) board to approve her sister Christine Mayengo as the Finance and Accounting manager yet she lacked the required qualifications.

    It is alleged that Mbayo used her influence as the former minister to put pressure on the chairperson Finance, Investment and marketing committee Dr. Patrick Ibembe and Managing Director Tom Wasswa to omit the capable  candidates for the job as advertised in mainstream media in favor of her sister.

    It is further alleged that Dr. Ibembe disclosed that they did not have to engage any external consultant for the said recruitment.

    Sources revealed that Mbayo was told that her sister emerged second in the interview but she was declared the best candidate.

    Sources state that as a token of appreciation to these officials, Mbayo increased their retainer fees from Shs2,500,000 to Shs3,500,000 and Shs2,000,000 to Shs3000,000 to Board chairperson and other members respectively.

    Mbayo was also grilled on allegations that she benefited from the Shs9bn cash which was paid to UPPC by the Electoral Commission to gazette the elected political leaders and polling stations in the recently concluded 2021 general elections.

    Investigators allege that Mbayo directed UPPC management to share the Shs9bn and she was given her share which was used in her 2021 political campaigns in Luuka district.

    Sources revealed that the former minister denied all the allegations and she was released on a police bond.

    The current minister for presidency Milly Babalanda suspended the UPPC board and the management on allegations of corruption, abuse of office and embezzlement.

    Police discover Shs600m in the course of investigation and it alleges that this was part of the Shs9bn paid by the Electoral Commission.

    The police are still investigating the matter.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    M7 Summons KCCA Ministers, ED Kisaka Over Invisible Hands Fueling City Market Wrangles…

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    Minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda (L) and Suzan Kushaba (R)

    President Yoweri Museveni has summoned Kampala Metropolitan Minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda and Dr. Dorothy Kisaka, the Executive Director Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) over allegations that invisible hands are fueling city market wrangles.

    In a chat with the Grapevine, Kabanda confirmed the meeting adding that it is going to take place next week at State House Entebbe to resolve the ongoing leadership fights in Kampala markets especially St. Balikuddembe commonly known as Owino market, Nakasero market, Wandegeya market and Bugolobi market.

    “It’s true the president summoned us to guide on his directive given on the leadership of the city market and I am going with members on the technical wing. He wants to know why his directives are not being implemented and also guide us on how to implement them,” Kabanda said.

    Museveni’s decision to summon KCCA bosses comes after getting information that there are ongoing fights between KCCA and the interim market leadership who refused to vacate offices to allow the election of new leadership to run the market.

    Sources revealed that during the Monday cabinet meeting, minister Kabanda reported Suzan Kushaba, the interim Owino market boss to the President for refusing to leave office and insulting her and Kampala City Resident Commissioner (RCC) Hawa Namugenyi Ndege.

    Sources revealed that Kabanda decided to run to Museveni after meeting security bosses in Kampala City who warned her to go slow on Kushaba because she is working for some big government official.

    “Security cannot remove Kushaba from the office, the lady is protected by SFC and police fear her,” a source at the KCCA revealed.

    He further revealed that when RCC Ndege evicted Kushaba from office last week, she contacted her bosses who allegedly intensified her security and directed her to go back to her office.

    A new energized and fully armed Kushaba went back to office with swag and insisted that she will not leave office on orders of the Minister.

    She further claimed that she had information that the minister wants to sell the market and also return the bad leaders who were fired by the president for mistreating market vendors.

    Yesterday, Minister Kabanda held a meeting with security heads in Kampala to see how to handle Kushaba but it didn’t resolve anything.

    Another source disclosed that the minister is bitter with Kushaba for branding her a fraudster who is behind the selling of public land and city markets like park yard which she sold to controversial city tycoon Hamis Kiggundu.

    However, the minister insisted that her directive on city markets still stands and Kushaba should leave office for new leadership.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    NATIONAL

    CRIME IS A CRIME: Stealing From An Employer, Whether Government Or Private, Will Send You To Jail – M7 Directs Arrest Of Top Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Security Chiefs, RDCs Over Corruption….

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    President Yoweri Museveni

    President Tibuhaburwa Museveni has directed the arrest of top ministers, permanent secretaries, security chiefs and Resident District Commissioners (RDC) over corruption and neglect of duty.

    In a letter dated 22nd August 2021 to the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Frank Tumwebaze, copied to the Vice President, Prime Minister, Attorney General and other top ministers, the president gave three courses of action against the suspected corrupt government officials.

    The president was responding to Minister Tumwebaze’s letter dated 11th August 2021 where he accused top government officials of frustrating government service delivery in local government through corruption and lack of patriotism.

    Tumwebaze reported that these actions are putting NRM in bad light. However, in his response, the president insisted that the problem starts from the top, in the ministries and they should be cleaned.

    “The problem is not just in the districts. It starts with ministries in Kampala, the ministers, the permanent secretaries, who do not supervise and monitor programs of the government being implemented by the districts” the president stated.

    He told Tumwebaze that he has information on government officials who are selling vaccines and government properties but he is still collecting evidence against them so that they are arrested and prosecuted.

    In his letter, Museveni gave three courses of actions against the suspects and these include; arresting and prosecuting the suspected officials, sacking and arresting Chief Administrative Officers (CAO), dismissing or prosecuting RDCs, DISOs DPCs, GISOs under whose jurisdiction these crimes are being committed.

    Museveni further directed that even political leaders can be arrested and prosecuted if they collude or aid these crimes.

    “It is, therefore, not a structural problem but neglect of duty by the ministers and the permanent secretaries. Decentralization did not decentralize crime and impunity. Crime is a crime. Stealing from an employer, whether Government or private, will send you to jail for ten years,” Museveni stated.

    Museveni’s letter comes on the heels of a warning from Milly Babalanda, the Minister for Presidency who cautioned RDCs and security bosses in Busoga region to stop involving themselves in illegalities because the president has already directed for the prosecution of all public officials implicated in corruption and evicting tenants from their land.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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