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Nakawa-Naguru land developer unknown: Land Commission

Byenkya appearing at parliament. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The embattled Uganda Land Commission (ULC) chairperson, Byenkya Nyakaisiki has revealed that one of the beneficiaries of the Nakawa-Naguru land is unknown to them.

Byenkya on Tuesday told Parliament’s Adhoc committee investigating the process of distribution of 82.05 acres of Nakawa-Naguru land to different investors that the directors of the Internal Medicine Virginia PC, who were allocated 15 acres as per the President’s directive are to date unknown to the Commission.

In January 2022, the Commission 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 to Ntinda Whole Sellers and others. These totaled 25 acres.

Another 38 acres were distributed to investors Anil Damani, 3 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, and others.

Byenkya acknowledged the allocations but said that she does not know the directors of the Internal Medicine Virginia PC.

“We interfaced with everybody but Virginia, for one reason or the other, they were not coming up for the meeting. But it is a presidential directive,” said Byenkya in part.

She told MPs that this matter was brought to the attention of the President but he only asked her to honor his directive. Byenkya said that ULC surveyed the 15 acres of land meant for Virginia and continues to hold onto the paperwork due to the non-existent company directors.

Dan Kimosho, the Adhoc Committee Chairperson questioned the linkage between the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) and the Internal Medicine of Virginia.

Byenkya said that between ULC and the Internal Medicine of Virginia is a presidential directive to give land to the developer.

She added that the Commission’s efforts to ascertain the existence of the company with the Uganda Registrations Services Bureau (URSB) yielded no fruits. Byenkya said that this step was taken after President Museveni wrote indicating that the company had changed its name to Internal Medicine of Virginia, Uganda.

Soroti West MP Jonathan Ebwalu questioned whether the Commission allocates land when directed to. Byenkya said that they only followed the Presidential directive but the paperwork is still held by the Commission.

Sarah Opendi, the Tororo Woman MP asked whether ULC has any address for the Internal Medicine of Virginia, but Byenkya said that they only have a contact of an individual only identified as Farouk.

MPs also asked Byenkya whether the Nakawa- Naguru land allocations are responsible for the disagreements with several Ministers in the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban development and whether they are the reason she is currently out of office on suspension.

Byenkya responded in the affirmative. Further asked by MP Opendi whether there are some politicians she could have allocated land to in Naguru, Byenkya said that she thinks so and requested that she is heard on camera on the matter.

In March, the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among directed the nine-member Adhoc committee to investigate the allocation of land after the Minister of State for Lands, Sam Mayanja had asked the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to intervene in the row over the ownership of the Nakawa-Naguru land after different companies claimed ownership of sections of land, despite President’s approval for re-allocation.

Mayanja’s letter to Nabbanja dated February 23 came after his visit to the disputed land where he also halted any developments due to ongoing disputes. Earlier, Mayanja had petitioned the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) Chairperson regarding allegations of illegal allocation and issuance of multiple titles to different developers.

Reports indicate that Multi Consults Designs Limited, which was given 3.3 acres on the land through a consent agreement with the Attorney General, accuses ULC of reallocating some plots of the piece of land to other developers who have gone ahead to fence off the area.

Media reports say that plots belonging to Multi Consults Designs Limited were reallocated to companies identified as WASH, GASH, EACOM, Global, and Fakhruddin.

In 2019, the government repossessed the 80-acre piece of land from Opec Prime developer for failure to establish a Satellite City. ULC was then tasked to find viable investors to develop the land.

In November last year, Mayanja submitted a list of 18 developers that the ULC had vetted and approved for the allocation of 50 acres.

The land in question has been embroiled in controversy since 2007 after it was given out to Opec Prime Properties Limited to construct a satellite city. In 2018, Cabinet resolved to terminate the contract with Opec Prime Properties after it defaulted on its obligations.

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