Nakawa- Naguru land saga: developer arrested by Police

District engineer arrested

Parliament’s Adhoc Committee investigating the distribution of 82.05 acres of Nakawa-Naguru land has handed the owner of Seven Hills Apartments, Francis Mutabazi to the Criminal Investigations Department. 

Mutabazi together with other investors that benefited from the land distribution by the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) on Thursday appeared before the committee chaired by Kazo County MP, Dan Kimosho to explain the circumstances under which they got to know about the land. 

In January 2022, the ULC revised earlier allocations of land at Nakawa-Naguru and distributed 15 acres to the Internal Medicine of Virginia, 10 acres to Uganda Heart Institute, 3.09 acres to KCCA Nakawa Division offices, 1 acre to Naguru Infant Primary School, 1.05 acres to St. Peters Church of Uganda, 2 acres Ntinda Whole Sellers 2 acres and others. These totaled 25 acres.

Another 38 acres were distributed to investors Anil Damani 3 acres, Seven Hills Apartments 4 acres, Arab Oil Supplies and Exploration Limited 4 acres, Dashen (U) Limited 3 acres, Dembe Enterprises Limited 3 acres, Dominion Partners Limited 1 acre, EACOM International Limited 1 acre, Rudra Hardware 4 acres, and others.

Asked by Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa what Seven Hills Apartments is and the shareholding, Francis Mutabazi said that he is the main shareholder with 99 percent holding and that his company deals in real estate business.

He told MPs that he learned about the Nakawa-Naguru land through different people who were discussing it around town and he approached his lawyer who later ascertained the availability of land. The committee learned that Mutabazi applied for 8 acres and was finally allocated 4 acres by ULC.

Asked about the application process for the land, Mutabazi revealed that since he did not know about the process, he wrote to the former Minister of State for Lands Persis Namuganza who advised him to deal with ULC.

Sarah Opendi, the Tororo Woman MP questioned Mutabazi why he had to meet and write to Namuganza and not any other Minister in the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development. In response, Mutabazi said that the then Minister of Lands Beti Kamya was very busy by the time he went to the Ministry.

Opendi questioned Mutabazi about a letter he had written to President Yoweri Museveni through the Minister of State for Lands applying for land allocation at Nakawa-Naguru to construct affordable housing units and a shopping mall. She inquired from Mutabazi whether he had written the letter and signed it himself. 

In response, Mutabazi said that he had written the letter and someone he could not reveal to the committee signed on his behalf.

This did not go well with Kimosho who noted that another beneficiary of the land, Dembe Enterprises Limited had the same letter on his file but signed by a different person. 

Following more questions from MPs about the letter allegedly written to the President, Mutabazi said that he could not remember where he typed it from and also the person who signed on his behalf.

He later changed his statement after the committee put him on oath saying that, he did not write the letter. This further angered MPs forcing Kimosho to direct the CID officer attached to the committee to arrest Mutabazi.

After handing Mutabazi to CID, Kimosho directed the owners of Dembe Enterprises Ltd to present to the committee all documents regarding their application for land and Nakawa-Naguru and particulars of the company on Tuesday next week.

This same directive was given to Haruna Ssebagala, the shareholder in Dominion Partners, Yogesh Patel of Rudra Hardware, and others who appeared without adequate documents regarding their companies and financial positions. 

Kimosho also summoned shareholders of Arab Oil Supplies Ltd to appear before the committee on Tuesday next week. The company’s Managing Director together with their lawyer MacDusman Kabega had appeared without the shareholders who are in Rwanda for business. 

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