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    Unneccessary Evil: Plot To Scrap NITA-U Leaks




    By Grapevine Spies


    In the past few days newspapers have been serializing the report by ISO which recommends scrapping of many gov’t agencies and entities. These agencies and entities are accused of being too many, wasteful, inefficient and expensive for the tax payers yet they aren’t generating any serious money for gov’t.

    The ISO report comes at a time when the office of the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda had compiled a list of MDAs which need to be scrapped immediately. Reliable sources show that NITA-Uganda which is based in Lugogo bypass is named number three (3) of that list of the most unwanted MDAs. Many reasons are given to show why NITA-U is the very unnecessary evil.

    Kaguta M7 the President wrote a directive in August 2017 directing Rugunda to come up with a time table to scrap or phase out and merge the very expensive and yet unproductive MDAs. Rugunda put up a team of technocrats who have advanced a number of arguments why NITA is unnecessary. First and foremost NITA as an entity is deliberately understaffed and very unpatriotic in the way it dishes out gov’t money to private companies in order to cheat gov’t. We have in the past serialized scandals at NITA including the most unpatriotic internet deals they have been signing with companies like Soliton Telmec of Kenya in which the gov’t is clearly cheated (refer to our past stories on this; just put Soliton in our search corner). Other companies are Comtel Africa which was contracted to carry out certification of all ICT firms that want to do work for gov’t. This is a source of income for Mr. Lubega who owns Comtel because unpatriotic NITA bosses allowed him to take 80% of all the revenue he collects.

    NITA gets only 20% for the gov’t of Uganda. All this is stated in the revenue sharing agreements between NITA and Comtel. The other deal being questioned at NITA Uganda concerns SYBYL which is also called Computer Point which NITA bosses carelessly contracted to build just one Data Center at a massive USD13m. Sybyl, which is backed by a powerful electronic media tycoon, belongs to Indians and giving them such a big deal is clearly against BuBu policy (We have details to this deal and we shall publish them here). NITA senior sources say three NITA top bosses were given a luxury holiday trip to Malaysia by this dark skinned media tycoon and while there, they discussed this USD13M deal to go to Computer Point which belongs to Indians as if we don’t have Ugandan ICT firms. There are questions how this company was identified and contracted just like is the case with Comtel whose boss Lubega is accused of conflict of interest since he was a former board member NITA.

    The ISO guys and those of OPM are also encouraged by reports that some key influential members of the first family are against NITA after one of the very powerful NITA directors called PK was recently reported to the President for using the first family name to intimidate people and heads of MDAs around town. The said NITA boss went to school with one of the President’s children and this connection shouldn’t be used to intimidate those questioning dirty deals at NITA-Uganda. This NITA boss didn’t know that some of the first family members are for long very tired of NITA’s scandals especially the one of Soliton and are determined to support plans to have it scrapped for being wasteful and being led by very unpatriotic managers. Sources say that some of the first family members were very disappointed when they saw the very big salaries Soliton Kenyan managers earn monthly from the NITA deal yet Ugandan workers like soldiers and policemen are choking on peanuts. The salary lists were published by Grapevine clearly showing that using NITA money, Soliton top bosses earn much more than Mutebile the governor BOU and Jeniffer Musisi earn per month.

    When The Grapevine contacted Mr Steven Kirenga, the Communications and Marketing Specialist at NITA, he just told us that no one pushed NITA to reduce the cost of internet, “when we started the National Backbone Infrastracture – NBI), market pricing was $1200 in 2011, we have been consistent in reducing the price since then.” On the issue of NITA being  named number three (3) on the list of the most unwanted MDAs, Kirenga said he cannot comment on the matter at the moment.


    There are details concerning this and it’s as follows; NITA was charged with the mandate to regulate the IT sector things like certification which it failed to do and gave the work to Lubega’s Comtel at very exorbitant fees of taking 80 percent of whatever is collected. The ISO proposal backed by technocrats at OPM is to transfer this mandate to UCC since NITA is clearly not capable. UCC’s boss Geoffrey Mutabazi is hated by NITA ED James Saka because of this but also because of the very good way UCC has performed its duties putting NITA-U to shame. The issue of policy formulation in the ICT area has been with NITA and the proposal is giving this task to Ministry of ICT where some of the capable NITA bosses can be employed as ministry workers and not under NITA anymore.

    The last 3rd part for NITA’s mandate concerns operations which is to be given to UTL which is catching up very quickly and will be giving internet to all government MDAs more cheaply since UTL bosses have already forced NITA to reduce internet charges from USD300 to only USD70 megabyte per second since May 2017. The moment these roles at taken away, NITA will be no more and the NBI will be handed over to gov’t. Sources say the NBI might be given to UETCL which is already doing well in that area of cables whereby they are working well with UTL to transfer internet connectivity between Kampala and Busia.

    ISO spies believe that with that added capacity, UETCL can operate more effectively and partner with UTL to bring internet to as low as USD50/mbps. Its scaring that one of the big men behind Soliton will financially be collapsing since the NITA deal is what has been helping to prop up all this big man’s other businesses which are busy making losses as per now. This big man is as per now chewing USD800,000 from the NITA-Soliton deal every month. Every month, the gov’t entities spend like 36bn on internet buying from NITA through Soliton and on this cash, the dark skinned big man behind Soliton takes away 77 percent which is like 28bn. This is what he has been using to promote his other businesses and pay big salaries to his workers stolen from other competitor companies.

    The ISO sources say that government is happy and more so the Prime Minister Rugunda because the mounting pressure on NITA has caused many gov’t entities to save a lot of money on what they used to spend on internet buying. The ISO spies are also saying once NITA is scrapped gov’t will save more than Ugx1,026,000,000 which is spent on paying the NITA workers per year yet they are not generating that much money for the country.

    Wait for the shocking NITA bosses’ salaries which don’t much the big properties and riches the NITA bosses own in Kampala and other districts and in their districts upcountry. This salary list and much more will be produced in our next story.


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    Property Dealer Kamoga Survives Prison Over Fraudulent Multi Billion Land Deals…



    Muhammad Kamoga the proprietor of Kamoga Property Consultants

    Muhammad Kamoga the proprietor of Kamoga Property Consultants situated along Entebbe Road has been charged before Entebbe Chief Magistrate Court and released on bail on the allegation of masterminding fraudulent multibillion land deals.

    According to the State, Kamoga was accused of fraudulently acquiring a prime piece of land measuring 200 acres in two villages in Katabi Town Council near Entebbe Municipality in Wakiso District.

    Before his arrest, State through the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, George William Byansi had directed Maj. Dr. Tom Magambo the Director of Police Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID)  to arrest Kamoga and present him before the Chief Magistrates Court at Entebbe.

    According to the charge sheet, Kamoga is facing charges of forgery, uttering a false document and obtaining registration by false pretense.

    It is alleged that on May 7, 2021 at Wakiso Lands office, Mr. Kamoga with intent to deceive forged a transfer form dated May 7 in respect to land on block 435 plot 8 purporting to have bought it from Bibangamba Peter which was false.

    State contends that Kamoga also forged a transfer form dated February 8, 2021 in respect to land on Block 435 in regard to 105 plots.

    The land broker is also accused of uttering a false document where it is alleged that he submitted the said forged documents to the Registrar of titles purporting it to be signed by Bibangamba whereas not.

    According to the state, Kamoga willfully procured for himself registration of disputed land under the registration of titles Act by falsely pretending that the same was transferred to him by Bibangamba.

    The charges result from complaints regarding four plots on land on Block 435 at Bukaaya Village in Katabi Town Council, Entebbe.

    Bibangamba is accusing Kamoga of subdividing his land into more than 100 plots and transferring them into his names and later on selling them off without his consent.

    “Charges of GEF 308/22 and CRB 556/2022 should be prepared as guided above and forwarded to Resident State Attorney (RSA) Entebbe for further action,” reads the document received at the CID on September 4.

    According to the complaint, in 2021, Bibangamba engaged Kamoga to recover his land from occupants who had become a big problem to him.

    It is alleged Bibangmba and Kamoga signed a Memorandum of Understanding accompanied by powers of attorney to enable the latter to execute the assignment.

    It is alleged that Kamoga held meetings with squatters, opened boundaries of the land and negotiated with some of them and even took one of them, J.P Cuttings to Bibangamba and sale was concluded.

    “However, thereafter Kamoga proceeded and subdivided the entire land into several small plots and transferred most of them into his own names and then sold them  without the knowledge or consent of the complainant or the affected occupants”  Bibangamba states.

    Efforts to get Kamoga were futile as his known telephone number was switched off.


    By Grapevine Reporters


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    NCBA Bank In Spotlight Over Fraudulent Advert With Intent To ‘Deal’ Top Lawyer’s Multi-Million-Shilling Property…



    NCBA MD Mark Anthony (R) and a copy of Tibeingana's letter to the bank

    A city lawyer and property mogul has accused NCBA Uganda of trying to defraud him of value by selling his prime property in Kampala by employing underhand methods

    Deox Tibeingana, also a property developer, accuses NCBA Bank Uganda of trying to sell off his property by maliciously advertising the same.  He says that in doing so, they are trying to actualize a fraud.

    On Monday, September 25, 2023, the bank advertised the lawyer’s property in Mbuya for sale in the Daily Monitor, with a call to the occupants to vacate. He attached a letter from the bank granting him 30 days extension from 16th September 2023 but even before the lapse of the days given, the bank was advertising. This obviously means his efforts are now useless.

    For Tibeingana, it raised a red flag.

    “They put up a notice for ‘occupants’ to vacate property knowing that I voluntarily vacated the property under the false presumption that they (the bank) would respect common sense and sell the property by private treaty,” he says.

    Tibeingana reveals that by going ahead to advertise, NCBA bank was cementing its reputation as a financial institution that thrives on other people’s misfortune.

    Tibeingana, who had a financial obligation with the bank, said he approached the bank, when it was still being headed by Mr. Anthony Ndegwa, with proposals on how he could pay part of the loan to a tune of UGX 1 billion.  However, they were unrelenting and he flew to Nairobi at the bank’s head office where he got positive feedback.

    “In Nairobi, they accepted my proposal to sell off the Estates in Kireka to pay off the principal. However, what followed was the most unprofessional and childish display of personal vendetta from the bank. They said that since I had gone to Nairobi, they would frustrate me and refused to accept an immediate part payment of UGX 670m insisting I must pay UGX 1 billion in one lumpsum,” he says.

    Part of lawyer Tibeingana’s letter to NCBA

    According to Tibeingana, it went on for one year with interest accumulating at 36%. Eventually, after frustrating me, the Managing Director called to say he was going to sell off the property in piece meal and had buyers. They became the brokers for my properties and were negotiating with clients to pay them inducements on the side and sold all the property that way.

    Tibeingana also accuses the then MD of meeting up with his (Tibeingana’s) business rival, a notable loan shark, at a Golf Course Hotel, and devising means to frustrate him.

    “I engaged lawyers (Kyazze & Kyankaka advocates), after I got wind of the MD’s meeting with the loan shark. They put it to him that since I had constructed the apartments and had shown steps to create value and pay the bank, their scheme was bound to fail,” he says.

    He recalls that in 2020, he requested the bank to release to its lawyers the land title for plot 8A Mbuya Road so he could create condominium titles to sell the houses he had constructed and pay the bank.  They refused his request for 6 months while his account ran on penal interest.

    According to Tibeingana, the bank eventually relented but he had to first raise 10% of the agreed sum before he could get the title. After depositing UGX 250M, the title was released and the condos created.  “I was able to pay the bank UGX2.5Billion in 30 days after selling 5 of the 43 condos that were created.  Upon payment of these monies, It was another battle to get my titles released as management was “too busy” to sign all the 38 mortgage releases,” he narrates.

    Tibeingana recalls that on two separate occasions, officials from the bank approached him proposing a gentleman’s agreement to sign sham mortgage documents of UGX 3.88bn and UGX 3.97bn in a period of 3 days to fool BOU auditors. He further narrates that “…I was shocked to later learn that these too had been registered against my properties as legal charges. It was against that fact that I filed a suit to challenge the thuggery of the bank,” he says.

    He reveals that out of the UGX3.5b lent to him by the bank, he has so far paid back more than UGX7.5b, but the bank now claims they are still demanding UGX 1.6bn.

    “We reached an agreement and I vacated the building so that the bank could tour prospective buyers after they declined my offer to participate in disposal of the property. Hardly a week has passed and the bank is keeping with its culture of advertising a property under a mortgage Act, whereas the agreement was a gentleman’s deed to sell under the insolvency act by all players,” he says.


    By Grapevine Reporter


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    How Bad Economy, Politics Forced Monitor Publications MD Glencross To Seek Early Retirement, New Vision’s Don Wanyama Warns Shareholders…



    NMG Managing Director Tony Glencross

    Professor Samuel Sejjaaka, the chairman Board of Directors Nation Media Group (NGM), the publishers of Daily monitor newspaper revealed that the search for the company’s Managing Director has kicked off after Tony Glencross tendered in his early retirement prayer and it was allowed.

    In the Statement, Sejjaaka stated that effective from 31st December, 2023, Glencross will be officially retiring and as per now, the board is undertaking a competitive recruitment process to identify a suitable replacement.

    South African born Glencross joined Monitor Publication in 2015 and has spearheaded its transformation from print media company to a multimedia company.

    Highly placed sources at Nation Media told theGrapevine that politics and the bad economy forced Glenscross, a former Commercial Officer at Vission Group, to retire. A source said that the company has failed to recover from the economic shock that many companies are currently suffering from as a result of the Covid-19 long lockdowns and the Russia-Ukraine war.

    The monitor paper circulation has since declined because the pockets of most readers are yawning due to the bad economy.

    There is also the issue of bad politics. Insiders allege that Glencross has been working under pressure especially from top government officials who are always attacking the company for working against the government.

    On several occasions, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni declared Monitor a ‘bad paper’ to the extent of suing the publication over defamation.

    In Monitor’s legal battle with Museveni, Justice Musa Ssekaana of the Civil Division of the High Court ordered them to pay Shs300m as damages to the President.

    Museveni always alleges that Monitor publication is working for bad foreign agents.

    A source at Monitor further revealed that the newspaper’s private advertisement has dropped yet government is also taking long to pay for their adverts.

    Glencross’ early retirement comes days after New Vision Managing Director Don Wanyama warned the company’s current and prospective shareholders of an impending loss for the year 2022/2023.

    Wanyama based his announcement on the “preliminary assessment” of the company’s performance by the Board of Directors, which is expected to return a loss for the year.

    He explained that the company’s bad performance is as a result of the recent price hikes of inputs like; newsprint and other raw material inputs resulting from global supply chain disruptions.

    He added that the company’s revenues are dominated by printing which accounts for almost half, followed by broadcasting (radio and television) outlets, commercial printing and others.

    “The main contributor to this performance is the challenging business environment due to slow business recovery from the COVID-19 impact on newspaper sales and advertising revenue spent across the different platforms,”  Wanyama stated.

    Highly placed sources at both Monitor and New Vision intimated to theGrapevine that plans are underway to cut on the number of staff and costs of operations.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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